A few weeks ago I went to a local eatery, only to find the parking lot quite full. Inside, the “Dutchess County Police Chiefs Association” occupied that area inside almost every restaurant reserved for large parties. Since a Google search yielded no clues, I’m guessing this group is more of an informal professional organization than anything else. Nevertheless, the group drove to the shindig in exactly the vehicles you’d expect them to, with a few conspicuous absences.
As soon as I entered the lot, I knew something was off. How often do you see several Chrysler 200 sedans in close proximity to one another? Just kidding, they’re actually somewhat common around here. By now you’re wondering why there aren’t any in this picture. That’s because they were out of the frame when I took these shots. Its never fun being outside when its 40 degrees and raining. Anyway, there were two 200’s to the left of the Dodge you see above.
My strong suspicion is that the previous generation Yukon is also driven by a police chief, but I can’t be entirely sure. Nearly all the cars had regular New York plates; only about two vehicles had special county designations. I’m guessing the police chiefs around here get to pick a fleet vehicle for themselves, or just use their own, private car.
The introductory picture up top contains our appetizers: two Malibu’s, two Tahoe’s, one Impala and one Silverado. Is it a coincidence they all decided to back in to their spots? I don’t think so.
Now for the main course. From left to right, we’ve got two Chevrolet Impala PPV’s (short for Police Pursuit Vehicle, GM’s fancy name for their patrol cars), a Chrysler 200, a Ford Police Interceptor Utility (Explorer), two Ford Fusions, two more Impalas, an eighth generation Impala, and a Tahoe SSV. I’m assuming the other cars belonged to civilians; it wasn’t a particularly busy day for the establishment, and the employees have their own lot on the other side of the building.
Do the two Fusions belong to local police departments? I’m saying yes, as the white example featured the telltale dog dish hubcaps and tinted windows normally associated with unmarked vehicles. The other Ford was an SE model equipped with alloy rims I’ve never seen on any retail model, so it likely belongs to a local P.D.
Now for the dessert: One more Police Interceptor Utility, another Impala PPV, a Dodge Charger, and a regular old Impala. Now what was left off the menu?
To me, the most notable absence in the group was the Taurus-based Police Interceptor. Its predecessor, the Crown Victoria based sedan, has all but vanished from the streets around here. That’s no surprise; the last time fleet buyers could purchase a Crown Vic was 2011. Locally, it seems the Taurus has also fallen out of favor, with the Explorer taking its place. I’m assuming police departments choose the crossover instead of the sedan for the same reasons regular shoppers do: vehicle height and cargo space.
Although the Caprice was absent from the parking lot, its hardly a surprise. Floor mounted shifters do not make good patrol vehicles. Another demerit is the lack of all wheel drive. Front and all wheel drive vehicles dominate this ad hoc fleet for a reason: if it snows and you’re in a Caprice, your chances of getting around town aggravation-free diminish significantly.
Last but not least, I bring you the tally of the vehicles presumed to be driven by the chiefs, with a question mark denoting the ones I’m not sure about.
Chrysler 200: 3
Dodge Charger: 2
Chevy Tahoe: 3
Chevy Impala: 6
Chevy Impala (8th generation): 1
Chevy Malibu (7th generation): 1?
Chevy Malibu (8th generation): 1?
Chevy Silverado: 1?
GMC Yukon: 1?
Ford Fusion: 2
Ford Interceptor Utility (Explorer): 2
In conclusion, your’re probably not going to see this many Impala sedans together unless you visit a Chevy dealership…or a police station.