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Police officers at UCCS will be the first in Colorado to drive patrol cars guaranteed to deliver in excess of 40 miles to the gallon.
Jim Spice, chief of police, Public Safety Department, recently ordered two Toyota Prius hybrid patrol cars to replace two SUVs used by the campus for nearly a decade. The cars went into service Feb. 25 after having radios, sirens and light bars installed.
The motivation? Fuel efficiency.
“The difference between 40 miles per gallon and 10 means these cars will pay for themselves in fuel savings over their estimated life,” Spice said.
While cost savings topped the list, Spice also wanted to support campus sustainability goals which have brought energy-efficient buildings to the campus as well as other efforts including printing on recycled paper and recycling bins throughout the campus.
Spice’s calculations were built around $2.50 per gallon gasoline prices and low estimates of the Toyota’s efficiency. At the campus speed limits, Spice hopes the cars will mostly run on their electric engines and achieve gas mileage upwards of 60 miles per gallon.
For more than two years, UCCS has operated a Toyota Prius in its motor pool fleet. A positive experience with that vehicle, combined with conversations with police officers at Northern Illinois University, helped seal the deal. NIU began converting its patrol fleet to the Toyota Prius in 2004.
“We are pleased to be the first in Colorado to use the Prius as a patrol vehicle,” Spice said. “We are on the leading edge of being efficient in addition to effective with the resources we are provided.”
The UCCS Police Department is a full-service police department that patrols the UCCS campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department has 15 police officers who are commissioned by the State of Colorado as peace officers. Additionally, UCCS police officers are cross-commissioned with the Colorado Springs Police Department. Through an intergovernmental agency agreement, UCCS police officers enforce municipal and state laws within a radius of the campus.
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