• Jun 22nd 2008 at 6:06PM
  • 15
Police vehicles, city buses, garbage trucks and the like all use fuel at an alarming rate. When gas prices are as high as they are they begin to put a serious damper on city budgets. In fact, out of 132 mayors surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ninety percent of them indicate that their city budgets have been significantly impacted by fuel prices. Mayor Douglas Palmer of Trenton, New Jersey says that tough choices are necessary, "Everything is on the table except for a reduction in public safety."

While the easy answer would be to stop driving so much, that's not always possible. For instance, what would happen if a city were to decide to pick up trash only once every two weeks. Not only would tax-paying residents be upset, but a certain number of workers would likely lose their jobs. What's more, as more residents choose to use public transportation, more fuel might consumed by the bus lines as more vehicles are added to the schedule.

According to a news report from Reuters, Seattle already uses Segways for its parking officers and Prius hybrids for its city workers. The city is now considering hybrid police vehicles, according to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. We're not sure what vehicles are being considered, but we do know that GM offers police-specific versions of its Tahoe SUV. Could the hybrid drivetrain prove useful in this application? We're not certain, but it appears that the days of the standard-issue Crown Vic could be coming to an end.

[Source: Reuters via Yahoo]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      They could save $64b a year by ending the illegal drug war.
      • 7 Years Ago
      KF31 is now the moderator for Autobloggreen?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I live now in Germany. The garbage truck pass only once every two weeks, and its OK. You get used to it, you try to reduce the amount of rubbish to a minimum. Also, the garbage truck is driven and operated only by one guy. Very efficient!

      • 7 Years Ago
      Is Tim suggesing he annoits/approves moderators at ABG, or is Tim suggesting that only moderators can label discussion as grossly irrelvent?

      kf31's point about the moot topical meandering in the comment that preceeds his is valid, regardless of Tim's thoughts on moderators.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I say we should have a requirements where no police officer can be over 200lbs. Remember every 100lbs of crap you haul takes out about 1MPG. So by my estimates each car would save 1.5 MPG.

      But seriously urban patrolling, Meter maids, NEVs will be fine. Police shouldn't be allowed to idol and switch to hybrids or even forced induction direct injection small displacement 4 bangers.

      They don't need v8s even in pursuit. The crownvics burns gas like a V8 and makes less power then any V6 sedan on the market

      dont forget the pointless war on drugs cost 64 billion a year and and removes another 100 billion of productivity on our GDP

      Before drugs where illegal 1.5% of the population was addicted to something, Today it still stands at 1.5%. It doesn't matter if its crack pot or porks rinds its not the chemical they addicted to but an imbalance in their brain that leads to dependency on anything.

      We are also a join the ranks of iran, north korea,
      pakistain, saudi arabia, syria,burma, and cuba. In capital punishment.
      Pretty much we are the only western nation that allows it and you wouldtn want to live in any county that does allow it

      • 7 Years Ago
      What's the problem? All they have to do is give more tickets.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Every town and city needs to re-evaluate their emergency response needs, as well. In my area, they tend to grossly overreact -- sending 4-10 emergency vehicles to a common fender-bender. There's always a fire truck and 2 ambulances, even when they're not needed.

      I've actually seen a full hook-and-ladder fire truck sent to a scene where a young boy fell off a bicycle. Has anyone ever seen a 10-year-old child burst into flames as the result of a skinned knee?

      Every community is terrified of negligence lawsuits and they send "the works", no matter what the cost is -- and there is a cost.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Considering that most police officers spend nearly half of their time idling their cars so that they can enter data into their computers, it is a shame that the Crown Vic wasn't the second hybrid Ford built. Can you imagine the county planners/mayors as they announce that they are 'going green, and that our police department is cutting its carbon footprint by 30-40%'. The hybrid Crown Vic would have sold faster than it could have been built. Ford, unable to keep enough cars on the showroom floor...
      Uhhh... Never mind, that is what happened to the Toyota Prius, an ugly, underpowered car that barely outperforms a Civic on mileage, saving only about 14 gallons a month, and is a pig of a ride in every other respect. Not to mention that the Prius is $5,000 more and looks like a gravid skateboard. At 14 gallons a month, how long will it take the Prius to 'pay for itself ?', if it is $5,000 more than a comparable econo car?
      I don't know what is more pitiful, the current selection of automobiles offered in the US, or the selection of presidential candidates; a self-righteous empty suit vs. an egotistical old man, what a choice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure some of the police officers idle their engines unnecessarily or accelerate too quickly for no reason. Getting rid of such habits could save significant amounts of money for cities.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's all well and good to suggest less patrolling by cops. What happens the first time someone dies because emergency services where cut back? The lawyers will be lining up to take the case and sue the municipality. How much will one lawsuit cost a city?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Let's cut back on lawyers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I currently pay 9k in property taxes in Wisconsin. I'd glady have trash pickup every two weeks, not to mention having no police patroling my neighborhood (where there is no crime).
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