(L-R) Technician Jerry Thorsell, Trooper Paul Wanzenried, Trooper Jason Cuthbert, and Technician Ryan Parya.

(L-R) Technician Jerry Thorsell, Trooper Paul Wanzenried, Trooper Jason Cuthbert, and Technician Ryan Parya.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has begun the process of replacing its 1,600 Ford Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptors with the Chevrolet Caprice PPV. According to Daniel Coon, public information officer for WSP, the agency has just begun the process and currently has five Caprice PPV sedans in the fleet. Coon said the goal is to replace 600-650 Interceptors, out of a total fleet size of 1,600 vehicles, over a five-year period. He added that the agency chose the V-8 6.0L powertrain option for the new Caprice PPVs. 

WSP used Ford Crown Victoria-based patrol cars for 25 years, according to Coon. To mark the “end of an era” for the Crown Victoria-based Interceptor, WSP held a small ceremony to mark the last Interceptor being used by the agency rolling out of WSP’s fleet section at the end of June. Trooper Paul Wanzenried, District 4, Spokane, Wash., received the vehicle. Trooper Jason Cuthbert, District 5, Kelso, Wash., received one of WSP’s new Chevrolet Caprice patrol cars. Law Enforcement Technician 2 Jerry Thorsell and Ryan Parya were responsible for outfitting the last Crown Victoria-based Interceptor. 

For the incoming Caprice PPVs, WSP’s fleet section will upfit new vehicles as offiers turn in the older vehicles, generally between 130,000 and 150,000 miles.

The fleet section is still getting used to the upfit process for the Caprice PPV, according to Coon, but rapidly adapting. He explained that the fleet section has implemented a “Lean” methodology for its upfitting process, which has improved the rate at which the organization can upfit vehicles. Government Fleet will be covering how WSP implemented this Lean process in a future article. Beyond fleet, Coon said officers like the vehicles.

They’re very happy with it,” he said. “Some of the older officers grew up with the Crown Vics, but once they’ve tried the Caprice PPV, they are very impressed with its handling, power, and braking.”

The new Caprice PPV patrol vehicles will have the same color scheme and emblems as the Crown Victoria-based Interceptors.

By Greg Basich

Updated 7/26/2012, 11:13 a.m. with vehicle engine details and fleet numbers.