OPD Debuts New Police Cruisers

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- A new look for the Omaha Police Department and it starts with what's out on the streets. OPD debuted its new cruisers, 2013 Chevy Caprice, Tuesday. Police said the cars are faster and safer to drive.

The Caprice holds a six liter v8 engine with 355 horse power. OPD already has 40 vehicles from the 2012 order and will be getting another 40 for 2013 soon. Officers said they're ready to be out with the old and in with the new.

"Anytime you get something new everybody is excited," said OPD Sgt. Stefan Davis.

Some of the equipment inside the cruiser will be reused from the old.

"We're able to utilize the camera system over," said OPD equipment services engineer, Marc McCoy.

One of the many new features on the new cruisers include LED lights on both front ends of the car. Police said this will help drivers be a lot more safe when they're on duty.

"That's a huge officer safety advantage and as well for the citizens. When the officer is going through an intersection, it illuminates the intersection more and makes us more visible to the public," said Davis.

The main difference between the old and new is traction and stability control. OPD said the old cruisers take more than 100 feet to come to a complete stop compared to the new cruisers. Officers will take a training session to learn how to operate the vehicles.

"Trying to steer into a skid, whereas the stability control will aid them. We're trying to tell them let the car what it needs to do," said Davis.

OPD said the Chevy Caprice is not available for the public purchase for personal use. The model was made for law enforcement only. OPD hopes to phase out all of the old cruisers in four years.