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Jun 15, 2012 6:44 PM by Callie Eike - KTVQ News

BPD's new driving force

BILLINGS- There's a new driving force when it comes to police protection in Billings.

Seven new 2013 Ford Interceptors were introduced to the Billings Police Department after Ford stopped producing the classic Crown Victoria which has been the staple car of the BPD for over 30 years.

This new high performance vehicle will increase the safety of the officers behind the steering wheel and provide more features the department is excited about.

Deputy Chief Tim O'Connell stated that, "the main improvement is the fact that the new vehicle is all-wheel-drive. Winter weather driving is always difficult, and we put a lot of miles on the vehicle. Plus the high performance that this vehicle has is 280 horsepower and is a V6 engine. It is also more fuel efficient than our old cars so that's a huge benefit to the city."

These features make these motor vehicles more than transportation as they are meant to help protect our city.

Officers will use new computers and new camera systems in those vehicles, but the actual technology that they are using will remain the same. The police car differs from a stock version by having different shocks and brakes that are more capable of handling a rougher, constant drive.

The BPD was able to save money on the car by making a simple logo of a white decal stating Billings Police, but the department feels it is still very effective. Adding more color or stripes to the vehicle would have added hundreds of dollars to the price. The cost of each police car was $26,615, but once equipped with all the necessary "bells and whistles" it will be worth over $60,000.

An average police car works a ten hour shift adding up to 100,000 miles and seven sets of new tires in just one year. It will take around seven years of new purchases to completely phase out the white Crown Victoria.

The cars will be on display tomorrow at Archie Cochrane Ford Saturday from 11 - 4 p.m.

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