WILMINGTON, NC - The Wilmington Police Department (WPD) has added 17 new cars to its 260-plus fleet this year, according to WECT-TV6.

For administrative use, the following cars were purchased:

  • 3 Ford Fusions ($14,303 each).
  • 2 Ford Taurus' ($19,218 each).
  • 1 Toyota Prius ($21,898 each).
  • 3 Ford Escape Hybrids ($27,111).

These cars were already scheduled for replacement.

Police cars are paid for by the City of Wilmington's Fleet Fund, which manages all city vehicle purchases.

For patrol, five Ford Crown Victorias and three Chevy Camaros ($21,225 and $25,500, respectively) were purchased. One of the Camaros was purchased to replace a 10-year-old Crown Victoria that had over 100,000 miles on it, reported WECT.

Two of the Camaros are unmarked and are used on patrol, but one is left white, with decals. The sole purpose of this vehicle is recruiting efforts. Captain Williams says the WPD invests in its fleet and it also invests in recruiting new talent.

Blending in on the road is another reason for the specific purchase of Camaros, according to Williams. "They can blend in with regular cars. Officers can actually observe people doing aggressive driving and say, text messaging," he said.

Due to the current budget restrictions, the WPD will not be purchasing any vehicles in the upcoming year. There were 16-17 vehicles scheduled for replacement, but they will be kept in rotation until more funding is available. Most vehicles are kept in use for 8-10 years, or until they hit 100,000 miles.

Any vehicles confiscated during a drug bust may also be used in the fleet if they meet the needs of the officers.

There are a total of 271 cars in the WPD's fleet, 160 of them are marked police cars and 111 are unmarked cars. The rest are special use vehicles.