The Westminster Police Department patrol vehicle fleet is going greener.
In the coming weeks, the department is set to receive its first hybrid car, a U.S.-made 2021 Ford Explorer. The car will be one of nine within Westminster’s fleet. The department is leasing them to provide some short-term savings over buying.
Fleet Superintendent Scott Maestrejuan noted that these Fords are the standard police units the company produces, but in a hybrid model — part gasoline engine, part electric.
“The big part is fuel savings,” he added. “We’re going to use them for a year and see what type of savings we get.”
Maestrejuan said just because these vehicles are hybrids doesn’t mean they lack the necessary power under the hood that police need.
“They’ll still have plenty to get up and go,” he said.
Once the first Explorer arrives in Westminster, the department will put its special decals on it to make it a true black-and-white squad car — a change from the formerly all-black fleet Westminster used to have.
Officers have been giving input on what they want in their cars. After all, they’re where they spend considerable hours, Maestrejuan said. The final result is that each vehicle needs to be the same.
“It’s their office,” he added. “It’s my job to take their input and transfer that into their vehicles.”
These Ford Explorers will also employ some top-notch safety features, including stage 4 ballistic door panels on both the driver and passenger sides; airbags; chassis made of boron steel; and a body that’s expected to be very durable and safer for the officer if the vehicle is in an accident.
“I’m excited to see the final product,” Maestrejuan said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job.”