Lavallette officials have purchased the first round of police vehicles in six years – when Superstorm Sandy wiped out a good portion of the department’s fleet.
The department mainly uses Ford Crown Victoria police interceptors, which are no longer manufactured. Lavallette cops also use a number of Ford Explorer SUVs, however officers have observed that the newest version of the Explorer offers all wheel drive instead of traditional four wheel drive, and has a lower ground clearance. Those factors have made it difficult to drive on the beach.
The borough council recently authorized the purchase of a Ford F-150 police vehicle as well as a Chevrolet Tahoe vehicle.
“It’s the first pickup truck that we’ve had,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero, a retired borough police officer. “It was actually cheaper than the other four wheel drive vehicles and it has better utility – you can throw cones and other items in the back.”
LaCicero said the borough decided to begin replacing a few police vehicles since none have been purchased since those that arrived after the storm. He said the borough does not want to fall into a trap of having to replace an entire fleet of vehicles at once. The two new vehicles will both be evaluated to see if the department should use them as replacements for other aging cars.
The Ford pickup has already arrived and the Tahoe is expected to arrive shortly. The Tahoe will be black in color, unlike the traditional Lavallette gray design, however the logo will be largely the same.