LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- La Crosse police have a new set of squad cars out on the streets and they are making quite the stir…literally.
The vehicles are equipped with a new feature called the “rumbler” that sends out vibrations as a new way to get peoples attention when cop cars are zooming down the streets.
Each one of the 6 new Ford Interceptor SUV’s will be equipped with a “rumbler.” A low frequency siren that will penetrate its surrounding area’s better than a normal siren.
“You can actually feel the vibrations from the siren,” La Crosse Sgt. Gary Hauser.
Hauser drives one of the new SUV’s when he’s out on his 1st shift patrol and says the “rumbler” comes in handy.
“You can tell the difference when your running with a regular siren and then have to activate the “rumbler” you get an almost automatic response. At least the person knows you’re behind them trying to get by,” said Sgt. Hauser.
It’s hard for a regular siren to keep up with the speeds that a patrol car might be going, so the “rumbler” is an extra warning.
“Before you couldn’t hear the siren if you were going 30-40 mph and that’s not unreasonable going to a call or emergency,” said Sgt. Hauser.
Each one of the SUV’s cost around 33 thousand after the trade in and all the new equipment was put in place. The Crown Victoria’s are no longer being produced by Ford, and the Interceptors are the new line of police vehicles.
The new SUV’s have more room, 4 wheel drive, and get slightly better gas mileage than the Crown Victoria’s. The SUV’s for the La Crosse P.D. will be running on propane fuel just like their previous Crown Vic’s.
Part of the department’s budget is set aside each year to get new equipment, including new vehicles.
“We usually rotate a 1/3rd of our fleet every year,” said Lt. Patrick Hogan.
The SUV does also have a new camera system and LED lights for nighttime vision.
“The new camera system has 5 cameras. They all point in different directions of the vehicle and there is one that records the holding area when someone is in it,” said Lt. Hogan.
Four out of the six new SUV’s are out on the roads. 2 are still getting fully equipped and should be out on the roads within the month.