SCPD upgrade of aging cruisers under way

HAUPPAUGE - OCTOBER 12, 2012: Two police cruisers

HAUPPAUGE - OCTOBER 12, 2012: Two police cruisers being worked on in the fleet garage. On the left, the new Ford Taurus police interceptor and on the right, an older model Crown Victoria. The Suffolk County police are getting ready to put new cars on the road. To date, the department has received 29 of 68 vehicles and they are in the process of being striped. (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

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Suffolk County Police Department police cruisers will soon sport a new look.

The department is in the process of replacing its aging fleet of Crown Victorias with Ford Interceptors.

A shipment of 29 new Ford Interceptor vehicles was delivered last month. In total, 68 Crown Victorias will be replaced.

Sgt. Colleen Cooney said the replacement of the older vehicles will be an ongoing process, with the oldest vehicles with 120,000 miles on them being replaced first.

Eventually all of the department's police cars will be replaced but that will likely take a couple of years.

Each car costs $26,321 straight from the dealer and $27,134 after it is fully equipped with radio, decals and fuel system.

Funds for the cars come from the Suffolk County Public Safety capital budget of $2.5 million, which is shared with other law enforcement agencies in Suffolk County.

The 2013 Ford Interceptor is a bit smaller than the Crown Victoria but has better horsepower and gas mileage.

The base 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers 288 horsepower and EPA-certified fuel economy of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, according to Ford's website.

The Crown Victoria's 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivers 250 horsepower and the car has rear-wheel drive, compared with the all-wheel drive Interceptor.

Suffolk Inspector Stuart Cameron, second in command at the chief of patrol's office, said the new vehicles have added safety benefits.

The cars' all-wheel drive will not only provide added safety, Cameron said, but "also increase our ability to safely and rapidly respond to calls for service during inclement weather, especially snow storms."

The cars have additional air bags and have been rear crash-tested at 75 mph.

Marked vehicles operate 24 hours daily and sometimes under extreme driving conditions.

The department will recycle light bars and grille lights from decommissioned vehicles to save money.

COMPARING THE OLD VS. THE NEW

2010 CROWN VICTORIA

Exterior length: 212 inches

Engine: 4.6-liter V8

Horsepower: 250

Mileage: 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway

Transmission: Rear-wheel drive

FORD INTERCEPTOR

Exterior length: 202.9 inches

Engine: 3.5-liter V6

Horsepower: 288

Mileage: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway

Transmission: All-wheel drive

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