Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Athens P.D. goes green

Samantha Pompeo

As the residents of Athens become more and more environmentally conscious, the police department is doing what it can to get involved. Before Monday's Community-Police Dialogue, APD Captain Tom Pyle told Athens MidDay that the police force needs two new cars due to transmission problems. When city council members suggested the force switch to hybrid vehicles, Capt. Pyle said he was happy to oblige.

Athens Police Department Captain Tom Pyle says he is very supportive of the switch to hybrid vehicles.

According to Capt. Pyle, the police force needs to purchase at least one new vehicle each year. With transmission problems in two cars requiring between $2500 and $3000 in repairs and high mileage in two more, three vehicles were requested. Capt. Pyle originally asked for two full-size Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors and one open-bed Ford Explorer Sport Trac. After speaking to Elahu Gosney, an at-large city council member and the chair of the Environmental Committee, the police force decided to purchase a Ford Escape Hybrid instead of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac despite original concerns about the Escape's battery life. Whether the Ford Escape could be used as a police cruiser is yet to be determined.

Athens Police Department Captain Tom Pyle explains what hybrid vehicles are being purchased.

Capt. Pyle says all of the vehicles purchased will have the option of E85 fuel in case that becomes available in the Athens area. Although E85 fuel has worse gas mileage than traditional gasoline it has fewer emissions.

Gosney says he wants a committee to review all city vehicle purchase requests to see whether less-polluting alternative vehicles might do the job.

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