4:43pm

Thu February 23, 2012
The Commonwealth

KSP Unveils New Chevy Caprice Cruiser

For years, the Ford Crown Victoria was the police car of choice for hundreds, if not thousands, of police agencies across the U.S., including the Kentucky State Police. But Ford announced last year it was phasing out the Crown Victoria to be replaced by a new vehicle, the Ford Police Interceptor. The change caused many police agencies to re-evaluate their choice for new police cruisers.

After several months of extensive testing and evaluating police vehicle packages offered by Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler, KSP has chosen the Chevrolet Caprice as its new cruiser.

The choice was unveiled Thursday by KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer on his Internet blog. He notes that the new Ford Interceptor wasn't due to go into production until late April of 2012 and that was too late to meet KSP's needs for this year.

After vehicles are purchased through competitive bidding and received from a dealer, individual cars go to the KSP garage in Frankfort to be equipped with police equipment, including blue lights, sirens, protective screens, striping packages and communications equipment, Brewer wrote on his blog. (http://kentuckystatepolice.blogspot.com)

Turning a car into a police cruiser isn't cheap.

"This can take as much as a day or two per vehicle and adds an additional cost of $12,920 to each car if none of the parts are recycled from surplus vehicles," Brewer wrote. "We continue to be as frugal as possible in purchasing patrol vehicles, while keeping in mind the importance of officer safety and the need for an emergency response to protect the public we serve."