Napa Switching to Chevrolet Caprice PPV for Patrol Car

January 09, 2013

The City of Napa has received four Chevrolet Caprice PPVs so far. 
The City of Napa has received four Chevrolet Caprice PPVs so far.

NAPA, CA – The City of Napa, Calif., is switching its patrol cars from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor to the Chevrolet Caprice PPV and has received four of the new vehicles so far. Government Fleet spoke to Chris Burgeson, the City’s fleet manager, about the transition.

The City’s patrol fleet consists of 23 vehicles, 17 of which are Crown Victorias, two are Chevrolet Tahoes, and four are the new Caprice patrol cars. Burgeson said the plan is to replace all of the Crown Victorias with new Caprice models.

Selecting the Caprice was a long-term project, taking more than two years, according to Burgeson. He said the City began researching new vehicles as soon as Ford announced the Crown Victoria would end production after MY-2011.

“Our evaluation team consisted of members from our Fleet division, our PD, and our IT division,” Burgeson said. “Our close proximity to the port-of-entry (in Benicia, Calif.) meant we could take the short drive to see the first cars after they unloaded from the ships. After viewing, crawling under and over, probing and prodding, and multiple test drives of each of the OEM offerings, our team felt the Caprice was the best tool for the job based on driving characteristics and performance, and overall ‘maintainability.’ This last quality is probably the heaviest weighted factor in our final decision.”

The biggest change for the City’s fleet division is in the upfitting process due to all the new components on the vehicles. Burgeson worked with the upfitter (the City uses an outside company) to move the department’s Panasonic Toughbooks from the cabin to the trunk. Now, officers access the computer via a remote display and keyboard in the cabin, which helps conserve space.

So far, Burgeson said fuel economy for the new vehicles is solid.

“Most of the cars have only been in service for a few weeks,” he said. “Preliminary fuel data is showing the new cars are tracking with very similar fuel economy to the Crown Vics.” He added that after making minor changes to the vehicles in the first few days of active service, common in major transitions such as this, he’s heard positive feedback from officers.

By Greg Basich


  1. 1. Rex Sagle [ January 10, 2013 @ 03:17PM ]

    According to the last Car & Driver test of the Caprice PPV, and the Hemi Charger, the Caprice is more suitable
    for parking violations, and the only vehicle it out performed was the little Fiat,, Quite a difference from the LOCSD, and the MSP test, but there should not have been that much difference, The Charger won by a large margin, and Car and Driver did not test the Ford Interceptor, that would have been interesting.

  2. 2. Scott Newsome [ January 14, 2013 @ 06:48AM ]

    @Rex, I participated in the LACSO testing in 2012. There are numerous test evolutions for each vehicle in terms of acceleration, handling and braking. In what category did the Charger "win" by a large margin?


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