The Secaucus, N.J., Police Department unveiled two new hybrid Ford Escape police vehicles on Dec. 11. These vehicles will primarily be used on extra-duty traffic details in construction zones, where the vehicle normally sits idle for extended periods of time. Since the vehicles are hybrid, power for the vehicle will be drawn from an electrically charged battery during a vast majority of the idling time. Therefore, the emissions from gasoline fumes released into the environment will be greatly reduced. During one experiment by the Secaucus Police Department’s vehicle mechanic, Scott Petruzziello, the vehicle sat idle for five hours running on the electrically charged battery, and only engaged the engine for 33 minutes.
Hybrid police vehicles will also come at a cost savings to the taxpayer, which is a primary concern of Mayor Michael Gonnelli’s administration. The cost savings will stem from a reduction in the amount of gasoline needed for the vehicles and wear and tear on the vehicle, since the vehicle partially runs off of battery power. The vehicles were purchased for $26,879.41 each, with fees paid to the Town of Secaucus when a police vehicle is stationed at a construction zone.
“With the purchase of these hybrid police vehicles, everyone wins,” Chief Dennis Miller said. “Police officers will have a new vehicle to use, the taxpayer will be saving money, and the Secaucus Police Department will be doing its part in helping the environment. Also, three more hybrid Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicles have already been ordered this year, which will be used for regular patrol duties. These patrol vehicles will be put into service during the Spring of 2021 and through attrition, we will be transitioning our entire fleet to hybrids,” Miller said.
“These new vehicles are an important part of Secaucus’ commitment to our ‘green’ municipal fleet and produce fewer emissions. In doing so, we will have healthier air as well as long-term energy and cost savings,” Town of Secaucus Environmental Coordinator Jennifer Schneider said.