Over the last year, the Carlsbad Police Department has hired 24 new police officers, filling vacancies and adding full-time staff. To ensure their fleet meets the needs of the officers, the Carlsbad Police Department will replace 13 patrol cars and purchase nine additional ones for a total of 22 new police cars this fiscal year. The purchase of police cars come a year later than originally requested, since Ford stopped producing Ford Explorers to produce the new 2020 Hybrid Explorer for police. Now available, the new police cars will be equipped with hybrid engines and feature updated safety equipment specialized for law enforcement.
The new hybrid model will eliminate idling during normal stop-and-go traffic with significant reduction in engine idling during extended stops. This translates to greenhouse gas reductions as well as fuel savings. Ford estimates the hybrid cars save 1,276 gallons of gas per year based on 20,000 miles traveled and a reduction of 22,560 pounds of greenhouse gas-causing carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle.
The new police car will feature updated safety equipment such as rear-impact protection of up to 75-miles-per-hour. Ford claims this model is the only car in the world designed and engineered to meet this standard. The police car will also have airbag deployment sensors that can differentiate between the firing of a weapon and a collision, reducing the chances of accidental airbag deployment.
The city’s Fleet Committee previously reviewed the overall condition, maintenance history and future maintenance needs of the existing police cars. With prior budget approvals and a carry-over of $390,000 from the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 general fund budget surplus, the police cars will be purchased from Folsom Ford for $927,442. At a later date, the 22 cars will be fitted with police equipment such as sirens, lights, computers, consoles and back seat enclosures.