The new Dodge Charger police cruisers pictured in a recent Bee article looked very nice. The Clovis Police Department has one, and the Fresno Police Department is ordering several.
How suitable is this model for patrol duty? The back seat of the Charger does not look big enough to haul in many suspects. Pursuit vehicle? I believe the California Highway Patrol is the primary pursuit agency. Why would local police duplicate a function we are already funding the CHP to perform?
I remember many years ago when a debate on air conditioning for cruisers was the big question. This seems to have ballooned to the point where helicopters without turbochargers are no longer good enough.
Recent budget figures published in The Bee showed Fresno police taking 58% of the city budget. Maybe if law enforcement stuck to the basics, like putting as many uniformed officers on the street as possible, and did not waste taxpayer money on extravagant, flashy eye candy, a more reasonable cap -- say 50% -- could be established.
Public funds should be spent in a fiscally responsible manner, on the necessities for public safety. Not on boy-toy muscle cars.