While some suburban police departments are buying flashy Dodge Chargers or roomier sport utility vehicles, Round Lake is taking a more traditional path.
Village trustees Monday night voted 6-0 in favor of spending $69,246 for three all-wheel-drive 2013 Ford Police Interceptor sedans. The Interceptor sedan is based on the Ford Taurus.
Deputy Police Chief Francis Foy said after the meeting the Interceptor was recommended, in part, because of projected cost efficiencies in shifting to the new vehicles from three Ford Crown Victorias. Ford, a longtime leader in the U.S. police car business, stopped accepting orders for the Crown Victoria last year.
"Now, with the Crown Victoria going away, most of the equipment inside is expected to be transitioned very easily without adding a lot of cost," Foy said. "When I'm talking about equipment, I'm talking about prisoner cages, center consoles (and more)."
Foy, who took an Interceptor for a test spin, said its all-wheel drive will be an advantage in the winter. He said that makes the Interceptor preferable to the two-wheel-drive Charger, which now is used as a squad car at suburban police departments including Hawthorn Woods, Algonquin, Palatine, Wheaton and Wauconda.
Gurnee police will spend more than $107,000 on four sport-utility vehicles. The Gurnee village board approved the expenditure in a 3-2 vote in April, with proponents saying the Chevrolet Tahoe squads will lead to better coverage and improved comfort for officers.
Foy, however, said poor fuel efficiency and potential difficulty in getting a prisoner in an SUV that's higher than a traditional squad car were reasons Round Lake police didn't want to buy the Chevy Tahoe. In addition, he said, the Tahoe that police departments can buy through the state is two-wheel drive, unlike the Interceptor
If he had his way, Foy said, the Crown Victoria would remain in the Round Lake police squad car fleet.
"I will curse Ford for getting rid of the Crown Victoria," Foy said with a laugh, "because the Crown Victoria is a legend in police vehicles."
Foy said he planned to order the three Interceptor sedans Tuesday and expects delivery in early fall.