The Stephenville Police Department recently added a custom-built patrol car to its fleet - and has another on the way.
The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle) hit the streets about three weeks ago giving officers a more versatile and durable patrol unit equipped to protect and serve.
"Chevy concentrated on building this vehicle to be very adaptive to police work," said Captain Jason King.
The Caprice was designed based on feedback from police chiefs and officers and is made only in Australia.
On the outside, improved braking systems allow quicker reactions, the weight to balance ratio is improved for easier navigation and the high-strength metal frame better protects occupants from crashes.
The department will save on fuel costs with the car's eight cylinder engine that fluctuates between using four and eight cylinders while on the road. It also delivers a best-in-class top speed of 154 miles per hour on the test track. The car has the same motor as the Cadillac Escalade.
Officers spend a lot of time behind the wheel during 12-hour shifts, so the interior was customized to meet their unique needs.
The driver and passenger seats are designed to be more comfortable for officers carrying utility belts loaded down with weapons and tools. Despite a smaller size than the Dodge Chargers, which are also in the fleet, there is more interior space for mounted hardware in the dash and console.
"They're not as mean looking as the Chargers, but overall they are a lot better tools for law enforcement," said Officer Caleb Steel, the newest member of the department.
A second Caprice is currently being outfitted with light bars, dash-mounted workstations and Stephenville Police badges and logos on the exterior of the car. Police will begin using the car within the next three weeks.