A new Ford sport utility vehicle is equipped with “ghost” lettering. This allows the SUV to blend in with traffic when a “suspected violator” is being observed, according to officials at the Sheriff’s Office.
A total of seven vehicles have been placed in service this year and the focus is on economy, especially in the area of greater fuel savings.
Sheriff Jim Ruth said the new Chevy Impala cruisers have V-6 engines.
The SUV also has a high-output V-6 engine and is four-wheel drive.
“The ghost car (SUV) has specially designed decals that are only obvious when hit by direct light. It allows the cruiser to close with suspected violators before being prematurely revealed,” said Bob Gault, BCSO media relations coordinator.
“When the pursuit lights are on and light strikes the cruiser they are very obvious and easily identified,” Gault added.
According to Gault, the SUV criminal interdiction interceptor was purchased with funds forfeited by drug violators.
“Fuel-efficient cars are one way we are reducing costs while maintaining the high level of service the people of Bradley County receive from the BCSO,” Ruth said.
According to Ruth, the change to a new pursuit vehicle has several pluses.
“While the new lightweight cruiser is more responsive in traffic, the most desirable feature is the expected 40 percent better fuel economy. The smaller engines deliver more horsepower than larger vehicles, which is critical for an emergency response,” Ruth said.
The new cruisers at present have an increased mileage of five or six miles to the gallon regarding fuel consumption, according to Ruth.
The new cars have been outfitted with radios, LED emergency lights which are more visible to motorists in both daylight and at night, mobile data terminals, video recorders and other emergency equipment. Multi-channel radios keep deputies in contact with the 911 Communications Center but also provide access to frequencies (800 mhz) used by the Cleveland Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and other agencies.
Mobile data terminals have improved efficiency, giving deputies access to 911 center servers from their cruiser. Most reports are now submitted to supervisors over the computer system, according to Ruth.
Another piece of equipment is a GPS so supervisors, dispatchers and other deputies know the locations of patrol units at all times. This helps the 911 center and supervisors to know availability and proximity to dispatch the proper vehicle. It can also be crucial to locating an injured deputy unable to give his location to dispatchers.
The new cruisers sport a new look.
“The all-white vehicle purchase price is substantially less than pre-painted, marked vehicles,” Ruth said.
According to Ruth, work was done at the BCSO fleet maintenance facility, saving thousands of dollars for installation of specialized equipment.