Yes, this is along the lines of what I was wondering. Even if we
take James's idea that they can modify some of their behaviours to
lessen their fuel use (such as by lying in wait instead of cruising
the highway), the bottom line is they still need to be able to
patrol, to do their jobs, to project a presence, etc.
In my brief visit to Florida a few years ago, I was told in no
uncertain terms to turn on the A/C the instant we ever enterred a
vehicle. This wouldn't be my choice, but some I think treat it as a
right and obligation, and not as an option to be sacrificed in the
face of high energy costs. In my own case, living in a dry but hot
area, I did just spend money on window tinting, which I hope will
somewhat decrease the costs of A/C, though I often will just choose
to roll down a window instead of turning on the A/C. The window
tinting thing won't make a huge difference, but I just thought I'd
mention it. Every tiny little energy saving feature can be of
interest to some of us. I also increased mileage recently by
replacing tires, because the new tires had a higher recommended
inflation rate. I haven't noticed a difference in ride-feel.
In some cases, some Law Enforcement needs lead to officers on
horseback, such as when you have very rugged terrain and the need to
patrol a border.
Getting back to the example you give, it's a good reminder that some
hybrids can save us the energy of idling at a stoplight or other
area. Those who order vehicles may be hamstrung by having to order
only American. I haven't verified that Ford has made its hybrid
available yet, but assuming they have, maybe this would be the only
hybrid option on the menu. Not grid-chargeable, and probably not
diesel, so far as I know, but a larger hybrid that I guess could be
modified for some police use?
I bet that somewhere out there, there are additional law enforcement
agencies which have sought to address these issues in innovative
ways (such as the B20 program you mention), though they may have run
into some of the same problems that we have run into... including
the no-can-do philosophy of the auto companies, when it comes to
alternatives to fossil-derived fuels... even when those companies
are dealing with very good customers.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Steve Erlsten <sje333@e...> wrote:
> I talked to a former police chief in Titusville, FL about gasoline
a few months ago. He comment on how it was impossible to set a
budget when the price of gasoline might fluctuate by 50% between the
time the budget is written and the time the budget period ends
(potentially an 18-month period). I talked to him about hybrid cop
cars, and he seemed to agree that they could be perfectly suited. A
vehicle that idles for hours on end could save a huge percentage of
its fuel if it could turn off the ICE and run the electronics on
battery power. In fact, cop cars already have a second battery
(like commercial diesel work trucks do sometimes). He said he was
constantly trying to get the cops to turn the engines off more and
idle less because the electronics can run on battery power alone--
it's just the A/C that needs the engine. An oversized hybrid
passenger car (a crown vic or chevy impala) could save a lot of fuel
and emissions in taxi and police fleets. It seems like it would be
pretty easy to save money overall, too. I haven't been able to find
any good fuel economy estimates for those fleets, though.
> To bring that back to alt-fuels, Alacua County (in Florida) used
that as another selling point when it switched its diesels to B20.
They had a contract with the supplier that kept the price steady for
12 months. The biodiesel made it a little easier to write a budget
by removing some of the price fluctuations. Hopefully they are
still on B20.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: murdoch_1998 <murdoch@h...>
> Sent: Oct 8, 2004 9:00 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [evworld] Law Enforcement And The Costs Of Fuel
> I spoke to a person the other day who commented that he thought
> fuel constituted a very significant portion (even of a majority)
> a law enforcement department's (non-salary?) expenses. I wonder
> what some law enforcement agencies might be doing to aggressively
> pursue alt-fuel options, as the price for conventional fuel rises.
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