Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

Constable Fleet Saves Through Alternative Fuel

January 2009, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Mike Scott - Also by this author

Taking the lead from Clark County and the City of Las Vegas, one Nevada-based constable unit is reaping the financial and logistical rewards of owning and operating a fully alternative-fuel vehicle fleet.

An elected body of officials serving judicial and law enforcement agencies, the Clark County Constabulary has experienced benefits from an alternative-fuel fleet, including increased personal safety, lower fuel costs, and compliance with mandated environmental policies.

Various jurisdictions in Nevada have been leading the move toward alternatively fueled vehicles. From backhoes used by Las Vegas employees to compact cars driven by building inspectors on their rounds, Las Vegas has more alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet than most other cities in the United States. 

Las Vegas Leads in Alternative-Fuel Use

According to a 2008 study by SustainLane, an online community of thought leaders in green initiatives funded by private and corporate donors, Las Vegas ranks among the top 50 largest cities in the U.S. in implementing alternative-fuel programs. The City operates a fueling station that powers 90 percent of the City's 1,058 vehicles with compressed natural gas (CNG), biodiesel, hydrogen enriched compressed natural gas, flex-fuel, and hybrid-electric.

The City has also purchased 85 hybrid vehicles, which replaced small pickup trucks that only achieved 13 miles per gallon.

Security issues for the Las Vegas Township Constabulary arose as it faced an ongoing safety concern. Rising numbers of foreclosures, repossessions, and other consumer-related credit issues were placing more demands on Constables' time. Given the emotional nature of individuals faced with such issues, some constables were openly or subtly threatened. Driving personal vehicles with their own license plates presented serious security risks.

As a result, the elected Chief Constable Robert Gronauer approached Clark County for a potential solution. David Johnson, manager of the automotive services and safety and environmental divisions in Clark County, worked with Gronauer and his team to develop a fleet solution that improved security while meeting an environmental need.

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