Hybrid vehicle ‘not suited’ for local police

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The town of Mount Olive is moving into the second year of its way of replacing vehicles, a change a year ago that has already provided a major maintenance savings.

But as its agreement with Fleet Management moves into the second year there are issues with replacing vehicles for the police department.

General Motors cannot provide new Dodge Chargers, the usual police vehicle of choice, until 2021 due to a variety of production issues.

Mount Olive police were hoping to replace at least five more vehicles in the coming budget year, but Town Manager Charles Brown said other vehicles are being reviewed.

Another police department in Wayne County just purchased a hybrid Ford Fusion for its fleet, but Brown says it is a vehicle not suitable for Mount Olive.

“We are exploring other options,” he said as officials continue to look for what is the best type of vehicle to add to the local department.

Nine vehicles in the local department have already been replaced under the town’s agreement with Fleet Management, and in the upcoming fiscal year, plans called for replacing four others, said the town manager.

“The Chargers are not available for the upcoming year, and the problem is there are not very many sedans out there suitable for our needs, and we are merely exploring other options that will meet our needs,” said Brown.

He said SUVs and pickup trucks are being reviewed.

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