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Durango Police Department going green with hybrid trucks

Agency orders 14 vehicles in move toward a more environmentally friendly operation
The new vehicle gets 25 miles per gallon on gas mileage compared to the older Chevy Tahoes which only received 10. (Courtesy of the City of Durango)

The Durango Police Department is moving in an environmentally friendly direction with its new fleet of patrol vehicles.

Last week, DPD announced it will be doing away with its Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles in favor of brand new hybrid Ford F-150s.

The department’s vehicle replacement fund paid for the trucks, which cost $54,938 each.

“These were the only hybrid vehicles we could find at the time that meet the demands of police use,” Durango police Cmdr. Nick Stasi said in a news release.

The police department received the first of 14 vehicles on Friday.

The move has been a few years in the making. Durango police wanted to obtain a new fleet of vehicles sooner. However, supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic left the officers waiting for their new rides.

“We’re really excited to replace equipment that has been failing us,” Stasi said. “The Tahoes are having consistent mechanical failures. Getting vehicles replaced so we have an efficient fleet of vehicles is really important to us.”

It appears the new vehicles will also feature a new paint job. Instead of a traditional black and white law enforcement color scheme, the new vehicles will be black with blue and white trim.

The new design was one of three choices drafted by the city and voted on by officers.

Only one of the nine vehicles has been outfitted for patrol, with the others to follow in the near future.

The police department purchased 14 trucks with nine for patrol, three unmarked vehicles for detectives to use and two code enforcement trucks.

The total cost of the purchase was over $750,000.

Officers are currently testing the vehicle to get a feel for how it drives. The first truck has been assigned to officer Richard Clamp, who says the truck bed has been beneficial for situations involving bicycles.

The hybrid F-150 has a 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 engine delivering 430 horsepower and 570lb-ft of torque.

On the electric side, a 35-kilowatt electric motor combined with the 10-speed automatic transmission augments the traditional motor, and it gets power from a 1.5 kilowatt-hours lithium-ion battery underneath the truck.

While the new vehicles may give officers some new tools to spring into action when needed, environmental sustainability was the main reason for the change.

In the news release, the city indicated the Tahoes were quite the gas guzzlers, only allowing officers 10 miles per gallon. The average mileage for the 2022 Ford F-150 is 25 miles per gallon.

“In general the city is increasingly aware of and committed to reducing our fuel consumption,” said Durango Sustainability Manager Marty Pool in a news release. “We're actively working on updating our fleet throughout the city to be as fuel efficient as possible.”


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