Irvine police pick SUV as new patrol vehicle
On Tuesday, the Irvine Police Department will unveil the newest addition to the force at the city's Civic Center.
From 1 p.m. until the end of Tuesday's City Council meeting, community members can check out the new Ford Police Interceptor that will replace the Crown Victorias used by the department. Ford produced its last Crown Vic in 2011.
For more than a year, Irvine officers and technicians worked on finding a suitable replacement, and last fall the Police Department began plans to move to the new model, according to an announcement from the department.
The Interceptor has the same amount of interior space as the Crown Vic, in addition to desirable safety features, the department said.
"The Police Interceptor was also the best suited to accommodate the varying statures of Irvine's officers, many of whom would feel right at home in an NBA team photo," the announcement said.
The SUV also has room for equipment used by officers.
Each vehicle takes a few weeks to be modified to fit Irvine police needs, Lt. Julia Engen said.
Although the department is rolling out its first Interceptor on Tuesday, it will take some time before all squad cars are replaced.
"It will take us about three years before all police cars look like this," Engen said.
--Lauren Williams, Times Community News
Photo: The new cars for the Irvine Police Department. Credit: TCN / Jan. 4, 2013