By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — The police department will add one more cruiser to its fleet.
A new Ford Explorer Interceptor will join the Londonderry fleet, bringing the vehicle total to 17.
The cost of the new vehicle is $28,000.
In March, police in Londonderry were among the first in the area to change over from Ford Crown Victorias to the new Interceptor, more of an SUV. The Crown Victoria is no longer in production.
Police Chief Bill Hart told town councilors that adding one more cruiser will give a much-needed boost to his department,
“(I said) let’s take a shot at 16 vehicles,” Hart said. “But now we are chronically short of cars.”
Hart said often there is not a car to be found in the parking lot on any given day and the added cruiser will be well used.
Police had already reduced the fleet down to the 16-vehicle mark from a previous 21 vehicles to help save money.
Adding one more will still be a good deal for the town, he said.
Hart said the all-wheel-drive Interceptor is a better, safer and more reliable vehicle and is priced well.
The new vehicles are outfitted with radios and laptop computers. They are also are more ergonomically suited for drivers, and will operate better in bad weather.
Police entered into a three-year lease agreement for its cruisers as part of the town budget. That is cost effective, Hart added.
Payments are $9,500 for the first year, and then $9,275 for the next two years as part of the lease for the added vehicle.
Money to outfit the vehicles is set aside in a police maintenance fund.
“And we’re still under budget,” Hart said.
He said the town is changing in many ways and police will continue to look at what the community’s needs are as it moves forward.