Chicago cops will be driving around in style after spending $3.5 million on the initial purchase of 100 new police vehicles. 500 total vehicles are expected to be purchased.
The vehicles will be produced by Ford and will be the Taurus sedan and Explorer SUV models. Departments will get a variety of the two models. In recent years, the Crown Victoria was the model of choice. This police vehicle was a solid car with rear-wheel drive. The new Taurus model will have gas-saving turbocharging and front-wheel drive.
Production of the Crown Victoria seized last year, presenting Chicago cops with an unfilled need. Several models were reviewed including the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger. For the Chicago police department, the Ford line seemed to be the best solution for a variety of reasons.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Ford not only offered the best price during the recent bid wars, but the city would like to support their local industry. “We not only have the cars built here in Chicago, designed here in Chicago, we’re going to put our money where our mouth is. We’re going to order the cars here from this plant. We have the best workers, hardest workers. This plant is the best exporting plant for the Ford company for all the factories that they have.”
The Ford company had recently announced 1,200 new jobs showing promise after problems in earlier years. 230 more jobs have been created at the plant, located on Torrence Avenue, for the police vehicles production.
The cost of the full endeavour will bring Ford approximately $15 million per year for the next five years and some Chicago cops got to experience the new police vehicles today as the first one was delivered.
Besides Chicago cops, 1,200 smaller police agencies have placed orders for these police vehicles. Ford vice-president Ken Czubay said “We are pleased and proud Chicago has decided to purchase Ford’s Police Interceptor vehicles. Ford has been the police pursuit vehicle market leader for 15 years, and we know these all-new vehicles can handle the rigors of police work.”
So if you look in your rear view mirror and see a Ford, you’d better be prepared as it could be Chicago cops in their new police vehicles!