The Rogers Police Department purchased 18 Chevy Tahoes to replace some of the older Crown Victorias in its fleet, and two of the SUVs were put into service today.
Captain Ron Largent says the department had to pick a fleet vehicle after Ford decided to stop making the Crown Vics. Rogers went with the Tahoes because the bigger size is safer and more comfortable than other options.
"By the time we put radios, radars, computers, cameras, consoles and all the equipment in them they are very tight inside," Largent says. "I had an unmarked four-wheel drive that I've been driving for about a month and I can tell you it's a lot more comfortable."
Largent says six of the SUVs are four wheel drive, and will go to school resource officers.
"On snow days those vehicles will be free to respond to accidents," he says.
The other twelve Tahoes are geared toward pursuit, with lower suspension and two wheel drive. Largent says the gas mileage is comparable to the older cars, but the SUVs are more expensive on the front end.
"But it also has a much higher resale value at the end of its useful life," Largent says. "So it comes out pretty even."
Largent says it will take several years before the entire fleet is replaced, and each Tahoe cost about $31,000, not including $6,000 to $7,000 worth of equipment.