No it’s not Knight Rider, with David Hasselhoff at the wheel; it’s a new 2004 black Dodge Intrepid police officers will be using to fight crime on the streets of Gotham, err… Fort Oglethorpe.
Fort Oglethorpe Police Chief Steve Blevins said his department recently purchased seven new V6, 242 horsepower Intrepids from Metro Dodge in Atlanta, equipped with cloth front seats, vinyl back seats, rubber floor mats, and power windows and locks. He said they have a lower profile than the department’s Ford Crown Victorias.
The new cars have pumped up the department, Blevins said.
“Most of the officers who got these cars are really motivated and just love having a nice car,” he said.
The new vehicles will throw a curveball to law-breakers who have grown accustomed to the white Crown Victorias, he said.
“It’s going to take some time for folks to get used to it,” Blevins said. “We want people to recognize it, but it also gives those who are working at night the capability to back off, and black out, so they can sit and observe things.”
Blevins said the Dodge Intrepid is the fastest police car next to the Chevrolet Camaro police package. The police chief hopes his officers never have to find out how fast the cars will travel, he said.
Jeff Goodson of Chickamauga painted the new graphics on the cars that he and Blevins jointly designed. The vehicles have Fort Oglethorpe Police printed on the side and trunk, the “O” in police contains the unicorn crest of the Sixth U.S. Cavalry, a prominent symbol of Fort Oglethorpe’s history, now used as the city seal. A two foot Sixth Cavalry shield dons the hood of the car.
“I had hoped to give a modern look to a police car and still be able to honor those who came before us,” Blevins said.
He said the cars were purchased at a reasonable price because Metro Dodge has a bid contract with the state of Georgia. Local governments can take advantage of the same prices negotiated by the state, he said.
The department paid about $16,000 for each vehicle, and an additional $4,000 each for equipment including police radios, sirens, and switch boxes for emergency lights, Blevins said. Equipment in the department’s older cars will be re-used and at least six of those cars will be auctioned off later this year, he said.
The department intends to purchase three to four new vehicles each year depending on the availability of special-purpose local-option sales tax dollars, Blevins said