VIDEO: New fleet of Dodge Charger cruisers hits the road

VIDEO: New fleet of Dodge Charger cruisers hits the road

The new Dodge Chargers are ready to go in the parking lot of the North Providence Police Department on Mineral Spring Avenue. The cruisers, at about $45,000 apiece, were paid for out of the department's $60 million Google fund. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)
Police have more ideas up their sleeve

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The town's new fleet of "front line" police vehicles is nearly complete after the arrival last week of seven powerful Dodge Chargers.

The sparkling new cruisers, complete with state-of-the-art computer and communications systems, were paid for out of the $60 million won by the local police department as part of a settlement with Google last year.

The new police cars cost approximately $45,000 apiece to purchase, outfit and decorate, according to Lt. John Anzivino, of the North Providence Police Department.

The V-6 Chargers, at 300 horsepower, are "great cars," said Police Chief Paul Martellini, and are exactly the reliable cars the men and women of his department need to be at their very best.

Check out the power of the new Chargers:

Anzivino said the department had the option of getting V-8 Chargers, with 400 horsepower each, but police decided that V-6 with 300 horsepower was more than enough for what they needed to cover local roadways.

The seven new cruisers complete "phase 1" of his department's bid to upgrade its front line fleet, said Martellini. Police officials have gone out to bid to get the best price for phase 2, which will bring an additional 15 new detective cars, administration vehicles and motorcycles.

"We'll be in pretty decent shape with vehicles for a long time," said Martellini.

The Dodge Chargers, purchased at Central Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Raynham, Mass., are pretty good on gas mileage, said Martellini, getting about 27 miles per gallon on the highway and 21 miles on side roads, of which there are plenty in town.

Anzivino said the new cars feature, among other things, high-tech computers with card-swiping technology, which will allow officers to find out exactly who a suspect is much quicker, a full cage for prisoners, heated mirrors, top-of-the-line light systems, and dual band radios.

The VHF (very high frequency) radios will allow officers to talk directly to all local school officials in the case of an emergency, said Anzivino. The radios aren't yet in place at the schools, but will be soon, he said.

Over the summer, 10 new Ford Interceptors, at a cost of $47,000 apiece, arrived at the North Providence Police Department. A total of 32 new vehicles, including two motorcycles, will have a final price tag of about $1.26 million.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice previously approved that amount to be spent out of the Google funds as the second expenditure since the announcement that North Providence had won the money from the search giant.

The first expenditure from the fund, $20.6 million to fix the ailing police pension fund, has pushed the fund to a 95 percent funding level. Finance Director Justin Cambio previously estimated that the boost in the funding status saved North Providence taxpayers at least $1 on the property tax rate.

Justice officials in September gave approval for another $300,000 to be spent on a new police substation and two new officers at Governor Notte Park. Once in place, those officers will patrol the town's schools during the academic year.

The Breeze reported on Nov. 6 that police are now applying to spend $62,000 to modernize a firing range at the Johnston Police Department. That firing range would be used jointly by the two departments, creating a better partnership and allowing local officers to skip the trip to Woonsocket range.

Martellini said he and other police officials are currently discussing a number of additional ways to spend the Google cash. Some of the high-tech initiatives would help other departments and make the North Providence Police Department a "cutting-edge" leader in the state, said the chief.

Police are continuing their practice of only applying to the Department of Justice to spend the Google money, according to Martellini. Town Council President Kristen Catanzaro contends that Justice rules require that all applications go before the council for final approval, but police officials disagree. So far the council members have not passed an ordinance requiring that the applications go through them.

The North Providence Police Department was awarded $60 million last April after one of its members assisted the Department of Justice in a federal investigation into online ads distributed by Google for Canadian pharmacies that were illegally marketing prescription drugs to Americans. A $500 million settlement in the case was divided between the Rhode Island law enforcement agencies that helped close the case. Detective James Watts was North Providence's representative for the investigation.

Lt. John Anzivino, of the North Providence Police Department, cruises in one of the seven new Dodge Chargers purchased by the department last Friday.

Comments

In your first article you write a story about how the town is trying to save energy. In this article, the town purchases one of the most energy Inefficient vehicles possible. Why? So they can CRUISE up and down Miserable Spring Ave at 25 mph.....and that's on a good day. Good Grief.

In regards to the comment by NPresident, he is Incorrect.
Only vehicles approved by the manufacturer can be used as "Fleet vehicles" and then only a certain amount are authorized as "severe duty". Using any other vehicle for fleet service immediately voids the manufacturers warranty, and opens the municipality to civil litigation should someone get hurt because of the misuse of the vehicle for its unintended purpose. Only certain vehicles, built differently than the average vehicle, may be used for fleet service, and in fact, GM at one time, as well as probably all of the other manufacturers levy a fine of typically $50K for any dealer selling a police fleet vehicle for civilian use. After police fleet vehicle use, the vehicle can then be sold by the municipality for other, including regular, use.
As far a mileage goes, the Dodge Charger is tied for the most fuel efficient police vehicle available. (As a comparison the Ford CVPI averaged about 12 mpg.)

....the Batmobile! Can you imagine the batteries these things need to power all that hardware? That being said, it would be an honor to get pulled over in NP for not wearing my seat belt.

One would think NP is sitting pretty good financially if one were to read only the head lines. The reality is NP is NOT sitting good financially, being the 4th highest taxed town in RI means we are outspending 35 other towns/cities. We need to get our Mayor and Town Council to put together a 5 to 10 year plan on our financial condition, I promise you all that it is not a pretty picture.

Nice to see new cars around town, something our town police needed. But was there a cost difference between the V-8 and the V-6 motors? For all the running the cars do, I feel that the police should have gotten the V-8 motor if it was same cost.

Dodge Chargers have preformed consistently great at the Michigan State Police testing. In fact, the new 2014 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive Pursuit set the fastest time ever at the testing. They also carry a 5/100 mile warranty unlike the Ford 36/36. The Dodge Pursuit also has doors that open wider to male it easier for officers to get in and out. Maybe the next purchase should be the All Wheel Drive Pursuit.

The V-8 has about 400 hp. The V-6 has about 300 hp. There is no place in N P that the police need a 400 hp vehicle.