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APD adds larger vehicles to its fleet

The Ford Explorer is among the new, larger, more versatile vehicles that APD has purchased as part of changes taking place within the department. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

The Ford Explorer is among the new, larger, more versatile vehicles that APD has purchased as part of changes taking place within the department. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cops and criminals alike will be more comfortable during their drives out to the county jail later this month.

The Albuquerque Police Department unveiled new additions to its fleet on Thursday, including 139 new Ford Explorers that have a new design. The vehicles are mainly white and have a “protect and serve” quote on the side that wasn’t on the Dodge Challengers many officers now drive.

Officer Fred Duran, a police spokesman, said the new vehicles appear “friendlier” than the current mainly black Challengers. They also allow officers to take two criminals to jail at once, and it will be easier to have two officers in a car during field training.

“We wanted a new look with the Police Department,” he said. “A lot of things are changing within the Police Department and we wanted to turn over a new leaf.”

The SUVs cost about $41,000 apiece. They’ll be assigned to all field training officers and then additional officers can get the vehicles based on seniority.

“You’ll start seeing them on the street here soon,” Duran said. “Now, we have room for two prisoners who can ride comfortably.”

Additionally, police also got Chevrolet Silverados for police service aides and Dodge Caravans for the crime scene investigators. Duran said the aides need the bigger vehicles so they can tow things. Likewise, crime scene investigators often need to haul evidence from a scene.

The Silverados were $31,000 each and the Caravans were $35,000.

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