Chesy Police get new cruisers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

CHESAPEAKE — Criminals nabbed in the village of Chesapeake will at least have one thing to look forward to — a stylish, comfortable ride to jail.

The police department unveiled its two new Dodge Charger cruisers Saturday. The sleek vehicles that can reach speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour, feature high-power hemi-type engines, state-of-the art radar and breathalyzer equipment and a comfortable, but safe, interior, according to Chesapeake Police Chief Russell Bennett. They have the same paint scheme as the previous cruisers.

The new cruisers cost about $32,000 each and were specially designed for the department at a dealership in Chicago.

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“Chesapeake’s always been different,” Bennett said. “These (Chargers) are really state of the art and we are excited that we were able to get them. They have a lot more power and they handle a lot better than our old ones.”

The Chargers replace two 2003 Ford Crown Victorias, which he said were becoming a headache due to ongoing minor problems. They have been sold to the Boyd County, Ky., Police Department.

“We think this will give us the chance to be more fair with the public. The brand new equipment, the radar and the BAC (blood alcohol content) machine, are very accurate. We felt that the community deserved that,” Bennett said.

He said the Chargers will allow the department to keep up with the times.

Chesapeake Mayor Jimmie Justice said he is proud of the new cars and hopes they will serve as a deterrent to law-breakers in the area. He said the ever-increasing drug problem and the high number of drunk drivers made the high-performance vehicles attractive to himself and the village council, which approved the purchase.

“With all the stuff that is going on and the drug problems that we are seeing in Huntington, W.Va., we think this (new cruisers) will help keep some of it out of our community.”

The mayor continued, “There is nothing around here like them. They are beautiful automobiles.”

He said the department has worked hard and is deserving of the new cruisers.

The five full-time officers who man three daily shifts will share the vehicles.