After my trip to the Ventura Hall of Justice for jury duty, I noticed the improvements at the court house that improve its energy efficiency and reduce waste. Yesterday, when watching a police car drive down the street, I wondered, how are the police departments implementing environmental initiatives? Will we be seeing hybrid Crown Victorias on our streets soon?

The New York Police Department has now introduced a fleet of hybrid Nissan Altimas as patrol cars for its police force. As I mentioned earlier, the hybrid Altima is a midsize sedan, so it includes enough space to carry two officers and a K-9, or room to carry a captured suspect in the back. Since yesterday’s article was about why the 2010 Ford Fusion is a better buy than the 2010 Nissan Altima, I’d suggest that NYPD switches to Fusions from now on. Both of these vehicles are special hybrid versions of existing models. If Ford can make a hybrid Fusion they can certainly make a hybrid Crown Victoria. And the Crown Victoria does not get great gas mileage, according to Fuel Economy it has 16 city, 24 highway mileage, and the Hybrid Fusion has 36 city, 41 highway mileage.

Some other police departments are switching to hybrid vehicles, although NYPD is one of the largest departments so its selection has a larger impact. Hybrids are not as fast as standard cars, which is probably acceptable in an urban setting but would be a problem in a suburb or a rural area. The city of Takoma Park in Maryland has decided to purchase three of the new Ford Fusions to use as police interceptors. At $20,843 this is a significant discount over the retail price, as the police department buys in volume. The city of Pinecrest in Florida also purchased a Hybrid Fusion for its detective unit, for $24,947, still below MSRP of $27,950.