The Lexington County Sheriff's Department has chosen a sport utility vehicle to serve as the agency's standard patrol vehicle.
Chevy Tahoes will be phased in to replace the department's Ford Crown Victorias.
Like many law enforcement agencies in the U.S., the Sheriff's Department had to choose a new make and model because Ford discontinued production of the Crown Victoria last year.
Sheriff's Major John Allard says the department conducted a cost-benefit analysis of all available police-package patrol vehicles and concluded the Tahoe and Chevy Caprice were the two front-runners.
Allard says the 2012 police-package Tahoe can be driven on average for 160,000 miles, or 15,000 miles more than the average operational life of the Caprice. So the department will have to replace Tahoes less frequently, which will save taxpayers money.
The cost of the Tahoe is $1,200 less, and standard replacement parts cost about half that of Caprice parts.
Allard says the Tahoe comes out ahead overall.
“The estimated lifetime cost-per-mile to operate a 2012 police-package Chevrolet Tahoe is 38 cents, compared with 41 cents for a 2012 police package Chevrolet Caprice and 41 cents for a 2011 police-package Ford Crown Victoria,” he says.
The Tahoe patrol SUVs will feature a new standard color of white, as well as new markings and graphics.
(Photos courtesy of Lexington County Sheriff's Department)