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Edgefield County Sheriff's Office New Patrol Vehicles Go Stealth

web posted November 14, 2012

COUNTY – The Edgefield County Sheriff's Office has just received four new police interceptors, but they are not the standard Ford Crown Victoria's. They are low profile Ford Explorers with no light bar and a sleek new look that is not available for the general car buyer. Edgefield Sheriff's Capitan Chris Wash said the lower profile makes the SUV's easier to handle with the more than 300 horsepower six cylinder motors under the hood and special suspension.

The fully marked units will blend into regular traffic much more easily and come with radar, in-car-camera with GPS display, handy shotgun and rifle mounts next to the deputy rather than stored in the trunk, and wider seats to make room for a deputy's duty belt.

The new patrol vehicles are all wheel drive, which improves handling at high speeds. In snow or a muddy road conditions the automatic system will enable the vehicle to act as a four wheel drive without having to engage all wheels. "It's not like they will be driving around in 4-wheel drive all the time," Capt. Wash said. "Only two wheels will be used unless one loses traction and the next will kick in."

According to sources, the new Explorers can outrun the Dodge Charger Police Interceptors from 0 to 100 mph making them an excellent pursuit vehicle with a top speed of at least 140 mph.

The cost of each fully equipped vehicle with radios, gun racks, brush/deer guard, lights, camera system, radar, emergency lights, prisoner cage, and markings comes in at around $42,000. Just a little more than the Crown Vics, "It's a little more on the front side," Capt. Wash said. "But when we sell them we'll be able to get three times what we could on the Crown Vics," essentially saving the county money on replacement vehicles.      

Two new patrol vehicles purchased earlier this year are already on the road; they are both Ford Crown Victoria's, which have been discontinued by Ford. In the past the Crown Vic was the workhorse of most all law enforcement agencies' patrol vehicles before being phased out.

Two of the new SUV Interceptors are being used as unmarked vehicles.

According to a purchase plan worked out two years ago by Edgefield County Council Vice-chair Genia Blackwell, at least five more of the new patrol vehicles will hit the road next year with no additional cost to the taxpayers.

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