Southborough Police hope to purchase an SUV

Every year the Southborough Police Department replaces two cruisers. This year they hope to replace one of them with an SUV.

At an Advisory Committee meeting last night, Interim Chief Jane Moran explained that the regular cruisers have trouble navigating many town roads and driveways in the snow and ice.

“The town is expanding into previously undesirable lots, and that means hills,” she said. She specifically called out Jacobs Lane, Admirals Lane, and driveways on Presidential Drive and Sears Road as examples of trouble spots.

The SUV would also become an “instant command vehicle,” Chief Moran said. Regular cruisers cannot routinely carry all the equipment required for crime scene investigations because there is not enough room. That means extra trips to the station to fetch equipment when responding to crime scenes.

In addition to the SUV, the police department wants to purchase a standard Crown Victoria cruiser, for a combined cost of $62K. Voters would need to approve the purchases at Town Meeting in April as part of the police department budget.

The two cruisers slated to be retired have amassed 98K and 68K miles, respectively.

“The best 1970’s technology available”
Advisory Committee member Al Hamilton challenged the plan to purchase an additional Crown Victoria model cruiser, recommending instead the department look at smaller, more fuel efficient models.

“I’m not voting for any more Crown Vics,” he said. “They’re the best 1970’s technology available.”

Chief Moran said smaller cruisers cannot accommodate all the gear they need to carry around, like radio consoles, laptops, and cages to contain passengers in the back seat.

Hamilton expressed concern about the fuel efficiency of Crown Victorias. “We’re taking money that should be going to police overtime and sending it out the exhaust pipe,” he said.

But Chief Moran said performance is the important point. “We need that gas guzzling. We need that get-up-and-go. If your house is being broken into, you want us there fast. If you’re having a heart attack, you want us there now. I don’t want to be putt-putting along in a V6. I want a V8.”

01/15 Update: Find more info in a Metrowest Daily News article published today.

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