Chargers on Patrol

You may notice that some of the police cars on the road have a new look. That's because beginning last May, the Edmond Police Department started buying vehicles from Dodge-the Dodge Charger, to be exact. So far, the department has seven Chargers in traditional black and white and a few more with unmarked paint jobs. And these new cars are proving that they don't lack anything in performance or good looks.

The new black and whites boast eight-cylinder, 5.7 liter engines with Dodge's Hemi® feature-a hemispherical chamber that contains the engine valves which are canted for better air flow. This engine delivers 350 horsepower while providing seventeen miles per gallon in the city and twenty-five miles per gallon on the freeway. Officers who are assigned to these new cars give it very positive ratings for speed and handling-even after being put to the test with ice and snow this winter. Once the base vehicles are equipped with a laptop and console, video camera, lights and cage, they provide everything the officer needs to do the job.

Aesthetically, the new cars also score top marks with the tough and angled look of the Charger. "It is not unusual to get a ‘thumb's up' from citizens as we drive these cars around town," said Tim Dorsey, Captain of the Patrol Division. Also, look for a dressed up appearance on all police vehicles as they get a new paint job with graphics that include the colorful shoulder patch from the police uniform.

Traditionally, the police department has bought Ford vehicles but after test driving one Charger for several months, the department decided to purchase the seven currently in use.

"The early indication is that we will continue to buy more Chargers in the future, but we will always evaluate different options and make the overall best choice. Competition between brands makes for a stronger product in the end," Captain Dorsey said.

The Chargers are being phased in on the assigned vehicle program, a program that assigns each officer to his or her own car and replaces the vehicles after ten years or 150,000 miles.

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