RIVERSIDE, CA - Riverside County supervisors approved Jan. 11 the Sheriff's department request to purchase 359 Ford Crown Victoria Interceptors, vehicles in their last year of production. Sheriff's department documents show it plans on buying 99 Crown Victorias in the current fiscal year, another 135 next year, and 125 the year after that, at a total annual cost of $2.14 million, according to the Southwest Riverside News Network.

The large purchase will ensure consistent use of the Crown Victorias for the next three or four years, which will save money as old patrol units are retired and their parts recycled and installed in the newer cars, sheriff's officials said. In addition, equipment and vehicle accessories adapted to the vehicle can be rotated.

An official told the newspaper that fitting the parts to different cars would drive up costs as much as $5,600 per vehicle.

Possible replacement vehicles, including the Chevrolet Caprice and Dodge Charger, will be purchased and field-tested over the next couple of years, the newspaper reported.