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City police get new patrol vehicle

One Thomson Police officer will now be "charging" into action when he chases down criminals. Officer Don Hillson is driving the department's newest vehicle - a Dodge Charger - which is a change from the usual patrol car.

For years now, the Ford Crown Victoria has been the vehicle of choice for law enforcement officers across the country. But according to Thomson Police Chief John Hathaway, that could be changing.

"The state went to it (the Charger) with a bunch of cars, and they had tested them and looked like they were going to be a good automobile," Chief Hathaway said. "It was at the same price the Ford was. We decided we'd just go with it and give it a try and see how it worked."

Ford had controlled the market with the Crown Victorias because patrol officers preferred the handling of its rear wheel drive, Chief Hathaway said. The new Chargers are also equipped with rear wheel drive.

"It just gave us another option, another place to look besides Ford," Chief Hathaway said.

In addition to state law enforcement purchasing Chargers, Chief Hathaway said locally, Lincoln County recently bought several.

Thomson's new patrol car has only been on the road for two weeks at this point, but it has performed well so far, officials said. Chief Hathaway said he would consider buying more Chargers to replace old Crown Victorias "if the price stays right and they're compatible with the Ford...

"This is just a test drive on this one to see if it's going to hold up and do right for us, but based on performance and what they do and how they hold up is going to be determining next year, if we get one, what kind of car we'll get," he said.



Web posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006













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