Steamboat Springs Police Department officer Sam Silva works Tuesday inside the department’s newest patrol vehicle, an all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger. The smaller car was cheaper than the other option available to the city, a Chevrolet Tahoe.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Police Department officer Sam Silva works Tuesday inside the department’s newest patrol vehicle, an all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger. The smaller car was cheaper than the other option available to the city, a Chevrolet Tahoe.

Dodge Charger joins Steamboat police fleet

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— The Steamboat Springs Police Department did not have to sacrifice looks when it started exploring ways to save money on patrol vehicles.

The newest addition to the fleet, a sleek, low-profile Dodge Charger, was unveiled Dec. 12 during a procession to the memorial service for Dale Coyner, a longtime police sergeant who died Dec. 4 from cancer. The Charger was about $8,000 cheaper than the $31,000 Chevrolet Tahoe, the other option available to the city through a state-run bidding process that capitalizes on quantity discounts. The city also could reap savings from the car’s fuel economy, which is about five miles per gallon better than the Tahoe.

“Everywhere within the city’s budget, we’re hoping to save some money,” Public Works Director Philo Shelton said.

The Charger purchase has raised questions from some Steamboat residents, who wonder why police would use a sedan when winter conditions exist half of the year.

“The Charger is an all-wheel-drive vehicle,” Shelton said. “I get asked that question a lot.”

Shelton said he thinks the Charger was a good option for Steamboat police officers, who primarily drive on paved roads.

“The use of the Charger is appropriate here,” Shelton said. “They’re already being used by the state. They have a reputation.”

Jack Coward, captain of the Colorado State Patrol’s five-county 4B troop, said its fleet includes 13 Ford Crown Victoria sedans, three Ford Expeditions and four Chargers.

“The Chargers have been doing fine,” Coward said. “The guys like them.”

With a good set of snow tires, Steamboat’s Charger has been a welcome addition to the fleet of Dodge Durangos.

“The guys like it,” Police Capt. Joel Rae said. “So far, so good.”

Speeders may not like the Charger. It has been tricked out with what Sgt. Rich Brown described as a state-of-the-art radar system.

Antennae are located in the front and back of the car and allow officers to check speed in a variety of driving and stationary scenarios. Registered speeds are displayed on the rear-view mirror.

“It’s pretty good,” Brown said.

Comments

ftpheide 3 years, 6 months ago

Is there enough space, in this vehicle, to transport an unruly citizen to the jail? I guess they could use the tunk if the citizen was sizeable. I like that word "antennae".l

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OnTheBusGus 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't think the one the city has came with a Hemi, that would cost more and not be as fuel efficient.

http://www.dodge.com/hostc/vsmc/vehicleSpecModels.do?modelYearCode=CUD201004

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jk 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey Philo, maybe we could have held on to one of our other vehicles for another year and used that money to pay the plow guys to get the snow off the streets! Yikes it's starting to feel like Denver around here.

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flower 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, I wasn't really expecting an answer, but thanks onthebusgus. And by the way the difference in mileage would only be 1 mpg city, the same mileage highway, according to your information provided.

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greenwash 3 years, 6 months ago

Really Neat......Why dont you do a story on what happenend to the Sheriffs Dodge PU Truck we bought several years ago for the "Ranch Watch" program. ???

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max huppert 3 years, 6 months ago

they should have horse cops, and give them cowboy hats.

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