The Delano Police Department in California is refurbishing its oldest police cars -- 2000 and 2001 model-year Ford Crown Victoria police interceptors. The PD has already taken delivery of one police car and has three more currently in the shop for refurbishment, according to Commander Raul Alvizo with the PD. Alvizo is in charge of police vehicle procurement and management; vehicles are maintained by City employees.
“We took a hit in our budgets, and we lost a substantial amount of resources. We’re just trying to figure out what’s the best bang for our buck,” Alvizo said. “Refurbishing at $25,000 a piece vs. trying to buy [a new vehicle] at $40,000, we can get more vehicles refurbished than we can purchase them new.”
The total patrol fleet consists of 25 vehicles. The PD has been unable to replace all the vehicles it needs to in recent years; the oldest vehicles have 120,000 miles on them.
Alvizo, a former automotive technician, said the PD was planning to purchase new vehicles but figured it could get more refurbished cars instead. “Our cars were getting a little old, so we were looking at options and we were taking a look at [the company Wild Rose] and see what they have to offer. We took one car over there, we saw what they did with it, and we were happy.”
According to Seton Montgomerie, owner of Wild Rose, the refurbished vehicles come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty backed by Ford Motor Company. A brochure from the company shows 90 changes and upgrades that come with the refurbishment. Major upgrades include a new engine, transmission, front suspension, and brake lines. The company also paints the vehicle and reupholsters seats and makes small changes just as replacing door hinges.
“With a refurbished Crown Victoria, you get upgraded suspension, better handling, better braking, better cornering, more stable platform, less tire wear, increased stability under extreme conditions, and upgraded Dot 4 braking system to remove the possibility of brake failure,” Montgomerie said.
Montgomerie’s company has been doing refurbishments since 2009, and he’s seen a lot more interest recently due to tighter government budgets and Ford’s discontinuation of the Crown Victoria. For fleets looking into refurbishment for the Crown Victoria police interceptor, he recommends getting it done at around 100,000 miles, which he says would extend vehicle life for another 100,000 miles.
By Thi Dao