SPD rolling in new cars

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Valerie Ashmon.

The Selma Times-Journal

Last week, the Selma Police Department received three welcome additions – new 2005 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors.

“It was a need,” said Police Chief Jimmy Martin. “These will be used to replace cars in the fleet that are old.”

Purchased from Moore Stewart Ford, the Interceptors are equipped with video cameras and newly designed push bumpers.

“The video cameras are activated by the blue lights or can be manually activated,” Martin said. “Right now, about 60 percent of cars in our fleet have cameras – excluding detectives.”

He said that his goal is to have cameras installed in all patrol vehicles.

“The cameras help assure that we have the proper evidence to prosecute when we go to court,” he said. “Cameras give the court a better idea of what the officers actually did.”

The push bumpers are also another convenient feature of the cars.

“I like the new styling of the pushbar,” Martin said. “It gives the cars a different look.”

Martin said the bumpers can be used to safely assist motorists move stalled vehicles out of the roadway and help protect the front of the cars from damage.

“The officers are excited about the new vehicles being added to the fleet,” he said. “This is something that is much needed.”

Martin said that he will leave deciding who gets the new cars up to the commanders.

“Seventy percent of our vehicles are swap cars – more than one officer drives them,” he said. “We haven’t reached the point where each officer has a vehicle to take home. We are looking into that because it will cut down on the mileage and wear and tear on the vehicles.”

“Next year, I will try to put it in my budget for five more new cars,” he said.