The Gig Harbor Police Department recently released a photo of its new patrol car on its Facebook page.
According to Gig Harbor Police officer Joe Hicks, the new Dodge Charger patrol cars will be replacing the department’s two oldest cars--2006 Ford Crown Victorias, which has been discontinued.
“They are both hitting the 100,000-mile mark, and we are having maintenance issues with parts wearing out,” Hicks said.
Back in 2012, the department contacted Dodge, Ford and GM and tested out four different cars: Dodge Charger, Ford Interceptor sedan, Ford Interceptor SUV and Chevorlet Caprice.
“The feedback we got back from the officers was that the Charger was the most comfortable car to drive,” he said. Other agencies including Federal Way, Renton, Lakewood, Bonney Lake and Kirkland also use Dodge Chargers.
In addition to the officers’ input, cost was a big factor during the selection process, Hicks said.
The base price for a Charger ran $23,890 and was funded by the City of Gig Harbor’s general budget.
“We got the best car for the least amount of money,” he said. “The Dodge Chargers have V8 engines, and the nice thing about the V8 engine in the Dodge is that it will switch from 8-cylinders to 4-cylinders. For routine patrol work around town, the car is running like a 4-cylinder car. So we are going to see an increase in savings for fuel consumption.”
In the annual vehicle evaluation conducted by Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the V8 Dodge Charger showed the best fuel-economy performance with almost 17 miles per gallon.
Hicks said the department’s current V8 Crown Vics record anywhere from 10 to 15 mpg.
The new cars have a black body with white paint on the side for the logo. Hicks said the department wanted to do something a little different while keeping the black and white theme.
Once the new brand cars hit the street later this month, they will be driven by Officer Fred Douglas and Chet Dennis, who were assigned to the older cars. Meanwhile, their old cars will be used as backups for the department.
Patch shared the photo on our Facebook page this morning, and it's already getting some mixed reviews.
Some people favored the new look with comments like "fancy", "sharp" and even "sexy". Others said "frivolous" and "ridiculous".
So we want to know what you think of the new cars? Tell us in the comments below.