LITTLE ROCK, AR - This fall, the Arkadelphia Police Department will join the growing number of law-enforcement agencies across the country using hybrids with its new fleet of 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrids, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkadelphia may be the first law-enforcement agency in Arkansas to put a full fleet of hybrids on patrol, reported the Gazette. The companies that outfit cars with police gear, the state's main training academy and various law-enforcement officials had heard of no other agencies making such a large-scale switch.
Arkadelphia Police Chief Al Harris was impressed with a Clark County high-speed chase earlier this year in which a thief in a stolen hybrid car outran police cars, explaining that type of performance was not expected from a hybrid vehicle.
The Camry - a midsized, four-door, four-cylinder sedan - is rated at 33 miles per gallon in the city, 34 miles per gallon on the highway. The 10 Camrys, including the cost of outfitting them with police gear, had a price tag of just more than $382,000, according to the Gazette.
The cars will be assigned to officers and driven home instead of staying on the street, shift after shift. For now, six Crown Victorias will stay in the patrol rotation.
The city qualified for rural development grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is to pay 15 percent of the cost of the cars, or about $57,000, said the Gazette.