Medford, Ore. — Medford police is rolling out its new fleet of patrol vehicles. The city council approved the purchase of 10 Ford Explorers in June, to replace current vehicles that are aging.
“These cars don’t turn off,” Lieutenant Justin Ivens of the Medford Police Department explains, “we run different shifts so what happens is the vehicles coming in when a dayshift officer is getting off, the keys are basically getting handed off to a graveyard officer and that vehicles going right back out on the road.”
MPD says the SUV’s will likely be more cost-effective than the Dodge Chargers, while providing more comfort for officers who spend as much as 12 hours in them at a time.
“They’re already wearing enough stuff on their bodies, and they’re uncomfortable to begin with,” Lt. Ivens says, “and then if you stick them into a cramped car that’s not practical for them to work out out of, that’s not a good combination.”
“So that’s the big thing,” Lt. Ivens says, “we’re hoping these bring a little more comfort to our police officers and in the long run saves us a little bit of money.”
Police vehicles often have a shorter life span because they idle often, and are driven around the clock. The first new vehicle to hit the road will be for MPD’s K9 unit.