Evanston police will be looking at the world from a higher viewpoint soon as the department replaces aging Crown Victorias in its fleet with Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles.

By contrast, the city’s parking enforcement officers will lose their lofty perch as the city replaces its fleet of nine parking enforcement Jeeps with seven Ford Focus compacts and two Ford Escape crossover vehicles.

The City Council tonight approved purchase of 20 new vehicles for the city’s fleet for a total of $442,000 from Currie Motors of Frankfort, Ill.

Top: An image from a Ford website of the new Police Interceptor utility vehicle with an outline of the old Crown Victoria superimposed on it in blue. Above: The Ford Focus on the left and the Ford Escape on the right.

The 11 Crown Victories being replaced are 2003 to 2009 models which city officials say are in poor or very poor condition. In addition to the eight Interceptors on the purchase list, the city also plans to buy three Chevy Tahoes for the police.

Ford has stopped producing the Crown Victoria model that has been a mainstay for police departments across the country for decades and has replaced it with sedan and utility vehicle models in the new Police Interceptor line.

The nine parking enforcement Jeeps are 1999 to 2003 models, all said to be in poor or very poor condition. The city will replace them with seven Ford Focus compacts and two Ford Escape crossover vehicles.

The new Ford police cars will have six-cylinder engines, which are expected to yield better gas milage than the eight-cylinder Crown Victorias they’ll replace.

The parking enforcement vehicles will have four-cylinder engines, compared to six-cylinder engines in the Jeeps.

And city staff say all of the new vehicles will run on a more environmentally friendly B-20 bio-diesel fuel blend.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. What prevents the Evanston

    What prevents the Evanston police from using much smaller cars that would be more fuel efficient and more nimble? Why get urban attack vehicles instead? Take the police in British cities — they use smaller cars as patrol cars, including the Ford Focus.

  2. Groan

    More police SUVs?   I guess for off-roading in the rugged mountain terrain of untamed Evanston?

    I still don't understand why they choose huge, low-mileage, gas-guzzling vehicles when they should have nimble ones.  Toodling around town and occasionally speeding to a scene can be done less inefficiently in cheaper, quicker, and less dangerous-to-other-vehicles, vehicles.  What are they thinking?

  3. Police should get with the environmental program

    This is ridiculous.  What a missed opportunity!  The police don't need SUV's – and definitely not beefy Chevy Tahoes!  They should drive Priuses – or even a couple of EV's since they don't have to go very far on a charge .

    I am sure that the police force convinced the city council that they simply must have bigger vehicles to put their equipment into.  Really? With technology these days getting smaller, I don't buy it – and neither should the city council. 

    I have seen that other police forces around the country and around the world are using smaller vehicles.  The city council really missed an opportunity to set an example here of ALL of us doing our part.  Instead, it's just more of the same. 

    What happened to all of the city goals of "reducing our footprint"?  The city management and city council has to start to "walk the walk" if it is going to ever be able to "talk the talk"! 

    1. Contrary

      On the contrary, you do not cut corners when it comes to public safety and law enforcement.

      Priuses – really?  Are you kidding me?

      I want the biggest, most reliable vehicle when it comes to law enforcement for not only myself, but my neighbors and anyone in Evanston.

      Oh, and, there is that winter thing too…

  4. Fuel?

    None of these vehicles have a diesel engine as an available option in the American market, so I'm not sure how "And city staff say all of the new vehicles will run on a more environmentally friendly B-20 bio-diesel fuel blend" is relevant.

  5. good choice IMO

    Ford won most or all of the competitions across the US for the best police interceptor. The three models listed here are the most economical, durable and best handling out of all of the line up, beating the Charger Interceptor and GM's offerings. The Fords are 3.5 and 3.7 liter turbo V6 engines, which are the current best engines for power, economy and durability.  They are not Diesels however, so they obviously can't run on B20 bio-Diesel!! They can run on E85, which is high octane ethanol blend.  

    The police dept. has a limited range of choices for suitable interceptors. A small, light vehicle would be a liability. Ask your local patrolman. They have to chase down criminals driving SUVs, big 80s/90s Detroit steel barges, full size work vans, box trucks. A Prius wouldn't be much of a deterrent to a van. It would be too easy for a perpetrator to ram a small compact car, possibly killing or injuring the officers.

  6. Police cars

    Generally speaking, I would agree with the above comments.  Patrolling really doesn't require big vehicles, but they really can't stand up to anything else.  I'm sure those vehicles get pushed to the test everyday.  There is a lot of equipment that I'm sure none of us will see, unless we are on the other side…a.k.a…the criminals.  And don't forget about our winters!  I would be pissed if an armed robbery was taking place in my home and the cops couldn't get there because their "prius" was stuck in the snow.  Lets be smart about this.  For the police and the city, safety calls for bigger vehicles.  Don't forget…we don't live in Glencoe.  We have a high demand for our police…let's make sure they have the proper equipment.

  7. It snows here. Criminals are violent here

    If you want the Evanston police to use small British-style vehicles then please get us Britsih-style criminals; far less violent and almost never fire on or attack police.  British police seldom carry hand guns.  Your comment  (like the others in the same vein)  is as unfair as it is uninformed.  

    Maybe the city makes mistakes sometimes and maybe sometimes it's inconsistent in its purchasing decisons.  This isn't one of those times.  Police in Evanston deserve sturdy, safe vehicles that afford them clear lines of sight and can perform in the worst weather that may come our way in the next several years.  You want to wait while a squad of Priuses full of police come slip sliding to your aid in a blizzard?

    1. Police seem like the military

      These vehicles look like we live in a war zone rather than an attractive vibrant city on the shore of Lake Michigan as the Chamber of Commerce likes to promote.

      These vehicles will contribute to the image of the police looking more and more distant and unfriendly. And all of this talk about the winter weather here as a justification for these obnoxious vehicles is simply boloney.

      We live in an urban area with snow plows and (probably too much) salt.  At the very odd chance that they have to chase someone during a snow storm, we are giving in to the appearance that we live in a police state…well, I guess we do.

      What a shame. Someone should tell the Chamber of Commerce!


  8. It’s nice to see police

    It's nice to see police cruisers in SUV's. This would be more ideal since it consumes merely the same amount of fuel, thus it needs superior handling and Truck Shocks for easier maneuverability.

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