Florida cops go undercover in Priuses
August 7, 2012 , by Nicholas Maronese Police fleet will look like "Walmart parking lot"
Police in Florida are trading in their unmarked Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Malibu police cars for a fleet of vehicles no one'd expect law enforcement to use, including Toyota Priuses and Hyundai Elantras.
“I anticipate the fleet to look like a Walmart parking lot,” Fort Lauderdale Police Capt. Eric Brogna told WPTV
“There’s going to be everything you could possibly imagine there — save your high-end luxury cars.”
Over the next two years, the city will swap 247 undercover police vehicles with a wide variety of newer vehicles bought at auction, including Ford Fusion sedans and Toyota Prius hybrids, to really keep criminals guessing.
“You’re not going to surprise anybody when you pull up in a [Chevrolet] Malibu,” said Katrina Powell, president of Government Fleet Services.
“But if it’s a bright red hybrid, you’re not expecting pretty blue lights to go on and someone to step out with a shiny badge.”
Use of the new tactic is made possible by changes in the department's $6.1 million contract with Government Fleet Services.
Police vehicles no longer have to be purchased via traditional fleet agreements, and will now replaced every 12 to 18 months instead of every five years.
Buying a new vehicle may be expensive - the city will spend about $25,000 per car - but they'll save in fuel and maintenance costs, says Powell.
They also expect to get a lot of their money back when they auction off the year-old vehicles.
People worried they're being pulled over by a dude in a Prius pretending to be with the police can ask for his ID or call 911 on their cell phone to verify with dispatch whether the officer's legit. http://autos.sympatico.ca/strange-autom ... in-priuses
I know that radio can outrace any car, but really -- a Priuse?