Arkansas Police Department Replaces Fleet with Camry Hybrids
There are some cars that just look like they are made to be police cars. Models like the Ford Crown Victoria, Chevy Impala, and Dodge Charger are often seen out on patrol, emblazoned with sheriff or police badging and just waiting to see you speed past them so they can issue you a ticket. What you probably don’t expect to see is a Toyota Camry Hybrid with flashing lights, pulling you over for running that last stop sign.
However, that’s exactly what you could see if you’re ever driving through Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The small city’s police force recently replaced 10 aging Crown Victorias with Toyota Camry Hybrids—a decision that might seem unusual, but seems to have paid off for the city.
Veteran police officer Don Cleek commented that he was “Dead set against it” initially, because to him, “A police car’s supposed to be rear wheel drive, V8 and can go through ditches.” However, despite the hesitation of Cleek and his Chief of Police, Al Harris, Arkadelphia’s city manager was able to convince them to at least give the Camry Hybrids a shot.
The gamble seems to have paid off. The new hybrid police cars are averaging 27 mpg in all-city driving. Compare that to the 12 to 14 mpg that the Crown Victorias were getting, and you can see why this was a good deal. Additionally, the Camry Hybrids were able to perform as well as the Crown Victorias in day-to-day driving. As a result, the city managed to save 3% of its annual budget due to lower fuel and maintenance costs.
You can watch a short film about the Arkadelphia police department and their new hybrid cruisers below: