Const. Chris Jobe with the Amherst Police Department set the wheels in motion about a year ago to have newly designed vehicles to replace any that were aging. The new vehicles, two of which are already on the street with a third expected next week, addressed a number of safety issues including visibility on the streets. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News
AMHERST - New police vehicles are catching some eyes.
The Amherst Police Department's two new Crown Victorias on the streets are getting comments from the public, all of which have been positive said the officer that was instrumental in getting them redesigned.
"We've had people coming up to us to comment on them, even with kids saying 'cool car'," Const. Chris Jobe said while driving along Church Street in one of the new vehicles.
The department currently has two new police interceptors on the road, with a third expected to arrive next week.
Deputy Chief Ian Naylor said the vehicles are replacing three that were due for replacement because of the service that would have needed to be done on them and the high mileage on each.
"It's been many years since we've upgraded our vehicles and we just decided it was time," Naylor said, adding the new vehicles were able to address some safety concerns.
On the old vehicles, the rear lighting system was an issue. But with the new lighting system, it allows the vehicles to have a higher visibility out on the road.
An issue regarding consistency has also been addressed with the new fleet.
"The new vehicles are all standardized and they're all the same inside," Naylor said.
"All the older cars were different."
In the new vehicles, each button is in the same place, for example the lights. Before, officers would have to reacquaint themselves with the panel inside the old vehicles, while now they're all in the same location in the newer ones.
"But what's special about these new vehicles is that we've changed to a new decal package," Naylor said.
Over a year ago, Jobe had pitched the idea of upgrading the vehicles to Naylor, who told him to do a little bit of research and come up with a proposal.
In that proposal, Jobe had a wide variety of decal packages to choose from.
"We wanted highly visible cars out in the public and we wanted the public to be able to recognize that the police were from the Town of Amherst," Jobe said. "With the others, it was hard to recognize that."
"It was also a matter of pride," added Naylor.
"The saying of look sharp, feel sharp comes into play with this. We have a lot of new, young officers and they take great pride in their profession."
With different decal packages available, Jobe then sent an email to everyone at the department asking them to vote and the result was a unanimous one.
Of the six marked vehicles the force has, the vehicles will keep the older decals until such time they need to be replaced.
"One is due next year, but we're working on some criteria for replacement," Naylor said, adding input is also coming from the town and the Police Commission.