MOORESVILLE, NCMooresville Police Department (MPD) has added five new 2009 Dodge Chargers to it patrol fleet, according to the Mooresville Tribune.

"They are fully equipped (and) ready to hit the street with a police officer," said Darrin Furr, a patrol officer with the MPD who used his background in auto mechanics to help implement the new high-performance Chargers.

Approximately six months ago, under the direction of then-Interim Chief Carl Robbins, the MPD began researching various car models utilized by other police departments, looking for better, yet more cost efficient vehicles, Maj. Kendall Hillard told the Tribune.

Furr visited eight different departments, including the North Carolina Highway Patrol, and test-drove 14 cars before deciding on the Charger for the MPD.

Five vehicles, at a cost of nearly $21,000 each, were purchased for the department, said Furr. An additional $10,000 per car was spent on upfitting the vehicles for police usage, including the installation of an extensive lights package and radar.

"We've been real pleased with them so far," Hillard said, noting that one of the vehicles made its debut June 5. All five, he said, will be roaming the streets by the end of this week.

Although the Chargers maintain the MPD's black-and-white checkered "Race City USA" design, the new vehicles are considerably faster than the department's Ford Crown Victorias, said Robert Wayne, a fleet superintendent with Mooresville's town garage.

And despite the new Chargers' eight-cylinder engines, they also have a feature that allows four cylinders to reduce fuel consumption, Wayne said, which would mostly occur when shuttling individuals to and from the jail and on other non-patrol rides.

That feature, Hillard told the Tribune, was one of the Chargers' major drawing points as well as the car's overall performance abilities.

For the next month, Hillard said the five vehicles will be assigned to MPD veterans and field training officers. The department will receive feedback from those officers and continue testing the cars' capabilities, which they've already started doing, before deciding whether or not to purchase more Chargers, according to the Tribune.