New cop cruisers could hit speed bumps

Cops will adapt to driving the new cruisers, despite concerns after using the Crown Victoria for decades, says the president of the Ottawa Police Association.

“Let’s remember, the Crown Vics have been around for so long,” said Matt Skof.

“I don’t think it would be unexpected to hear people have some sort of hesitation to convert.”

The first of 58 Ford Police Interceptors, modeled after the Taurus, should be road ready by August.

Ottawa cops have been riding in the Crown Vics exclusively since the mid-’90s, said Staff. Sgt. Sean McDade from fleet services.

And they’ve been durable.

“I’m hoping that the (new) vehicles stand up to the same abuse that we’ve put the Crown Vics through,” said Skof.

Leg room may be a problem for officers, considering the new ride is smaller.

“I can still see the size being something, at first, that they’d question,” Skof said.

But they probably won’t second guess the all-wheel drive feature.

“I was happy to see that, because I know that came at an added expense,” said Skof.

“There’s always been issues, for many years, about winter driving and rear wheel drive cars.”

So change can be good.

Perhaps the new Interceptors will come with better windshield wipers, since they’ve been a common gripe with the Crown Vics, year-round.

Even in light rain, “the wipers are garbage,” said a patrol officer, dubbing it a serious health and safety hazard.

Skof said the wipers have been a problem since he was a recruit.

“I think every winter they get about 100 complaints about the wipers,” he said.

“It’s quite possible there are better wipers out there, but I don’t know for sure if that’s been researched. I do remember that being an issue with the Crown Vic’s fresh air intake.”

The entire fleet should be in use come December, so “by this winter, I’ll have more feedback,” said Skof.

McDade points out the car has been designed “with the police officer in mind.”

“We’re very fortunate that Ford has worked with fleet managers across the country and across North America to ensure that they take all of our considerations into account when they design the car,” he said.

Members are voting on new decals and the winner will be determined after July 16.

Once the revamped cruiser is ready, police may offer a public viewing of the car.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/07/07/new-cop-cruisers-could-hit-speed-bumps

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