POLICE Magazine

APR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1099237

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the country, law enforcement vehicles spend as much or more time at idle than they ever do being driven on the high- way," he says. Another way that hybrids save agen- cies money is that regenerative braking greatly reduces wear and tear on brake components. Martinez says the brake components on the NYPD's hybrid ve- hicle last the life of the vehicle. 1,800 Hybrids M artinez is probably the nation's most authoritative expert on the use of hybrids as law enforcement ve- hicles. Out of the approximately 20,000 vehicles in the NYPD's fleet, 1,800 are hybrids. And the department has been running hybrids for 10 years. It all started with taxi cabs, according to Martinez. He says he noticed that the city's taxi companies were replacing their Ford Crown Victorias with hybrids and had been doing so for a couple of years. So Martinez, who was then the department's director of fleet services, ordered 60 hybrid Nissan Altima se- dans for the fleet. "I figured if they could hold up for years as New York City taxis, they could certainly do the job as NYPD patrol cars," he says. Of course those first hybrids acquired by the NYPD were not designed to be police cars, nor were they pursuit rated. e pursuit capability was not an issue, Martinez says, because the NYPD has a "no pursuit" policy. e Altimas not be- ing designed as police cars was another matter. ey required some work. Martinez says his fleet maintenance crews had to replace the Nissan's seats with vinyl-covered seats and install the police equipment such as lights and si- rens, which required additional wiring. In addition, Setina Manufacturing also made special prisoner cages that fit the NYPD's Altimas. Soon after those first NYPD hybrid Altimas hit the street, Ford started making a hybrid sedan for the consumer market, the Fusion hybrid, that Martinez thought would be a better po- lice car than the Altima. "We started using hybrid Fusions both as marked and unmarked cars," he says. e NYPD's hybrid fleet grew from there. Martinez says he has acquired Toyota Priuses, hybrid Chevrolet Tahoes, and a wide variety of other hybrid vehicles for the department. He even says his success with the hybrid Fusion in the NYPD's fleet helped convince Ford that the time was right for true pur- Ford's 2020 Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is the nation's first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV. READY FOR PATROL PHOTO: FORD 42 POLICE APRIL 2019

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