The new Tellico Plains Police Department cruiser leads in the Tellico Plains High School
Homecoming Parade on Thursday.
Avengers to the rescue!
The Tellico Plains Police Department's
new Dodge Avenger cruiser debuted at the Tellico Plains High School
Homecoming Parade on Thursday, leading the annual festivities.
"We had just got it back from getting
it equipped, just in time for the parade," said Mayor Patrick
The new cruiser is a 2012 model with a
four-cylinder engine and should get between 30 and 35 mpg.
"It's an economically-friendly
replacement to the Ford Crown Victoria [Crown Vics] that were
discontinued," said Hawkins.
When the Crown Victorias were
discontinued, the Tellico Plains City Council had the Police
Department look into other cruiser options. After extended research,
Police Chief Jeb Brown suggested the department try out a Dodge
"The four-cylinder is better fuel
economy," said Hawkins.
The decision to try a Dodge Avenger was
also an cost-saving move for the town.
"It should cut expenditures in half,
as officers won't have to stop at the gas pumps near as often," said Hawkins.
In addition, the town purchased the
vehicle slightly used to conserve funds.
"Since new vehicles depreciate so
quickly, we took the Dave Ramsey approach and looked for a slightly
used vehicle," said Hawkins. "By the time we got it equipped, we
have less than $14,000 in it."
By comparison, a new Ford Explorer or a
Ford F-150 would have cost more than $30,000.
Tellico's new cruiser was paid for
through surplus equipment and some funding from the Drug Fund. Police
Chief Brown will be using the new cruiser.
After a trial run, the Police
Department will make a recommendation to the City Council on whether
or not to stay with the Dodge Avenger.
"If it works out OK, when we start
changing out our fleet, we'll continue to go with the Dodge Avenger," said Hawkins.
The town will gradually change out its
police cruisers as funds become available until the entire fleet is