New patrol vehicles arrive at MFPD

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Sgt. Jimmy Cole, left, and Marble Falls Police Chief Mark N. Whitacre admire one of the new 2017 Ford Explorer Interceptor police vehicles that have been added to the Marble Falls Police Department (MFPD). They allow quick access to equipment compared to previously popular Crown Victoria sedans. Get a closer look on The-Highlander Facebook Page http://bit.ly/1MZW51U

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Before the city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5, one of the new patrol vehicles that had arrived at the Marble Falls Police Department (MFPD) was capturing the attention of those arriving.

The City of Marble Falls Police Department has taken delivery of four new Ford Explorer Police Interceptors.

The Interceptors, the law enforcement model of an Explorer, replaced older Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor sedans that had logged more than 100,000 miles each. They were purchased through the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments (HGAC) buy board at a substantial discount.

The police vehicles are equipped with radar units, emergency lighting, two-way radios and mobile data computer mounts. The latest in communication devices, allow quick access to data bases and interface video with the department's new BodyWorn police cameras. The synced recordings allow the officer to be away from his vehicle and still record audio and video.

The video systems and BodyWorn cameras were funded by state and federal grants.

Interceptors have front seats designed to accommodate officers of varying sizes wearing bulky utility belts, with reduced lower back stress. Even back seats allow for more leg room and easier ingress and egress of detainees.

Police Chief Mark N. Whitacre has watched reports of possible carbon monoxide build up in Explorers. Even though most of those reports seemed to have pertained to models older than the MFPD uses, he took the precaution of installing carbon monoxide detectors in the fleet.

Patrol vehicles log long hours of use and the department had been faced with heavy repair demands before a regular plan for replacing worn vehicles was begun. Four more new vehicles are budgeted for the coming year, as well as two new police officers.

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