Police vehicles

Tampa Police to Test Electric Patrol Units

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Committed to reducing its carbon footprint, the City of Tampa is excited to learn it will be awarded a nearly one-million-dollar grant to fund the purchase of up to 13 new electric police vehicles for the Tampa Police Department.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor secured the federal funding, which will be instrumental in initiating and testing a transition of alternative fuel vehicles in Tampa's public safety realm. With Tampa police driving nearly 4.5 million miles a year, and spending more than $3 million a year to fuel its fleet, electric vehicles can help offset the department's carbon footprint.

"This initiative is just one of many we are excited and proud to implement in our city as we move toward a more sustainable future," said Mayor Jane Castor. "We must take action in order to reach our environmental goals, but we would not be able to pursue many of these initiatives without support from our elected officials, like U.S. Representative Kathy Castor. We are immensely grateful for these valuable federal dollars that will help us reduce our carbon footprint, improve air quality, and reduce fuel costs to taxpayers."

Tampa's public safety divisions, including the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire Rescue, are responsible for a combined 7,500 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. To put it into context, the consumption of about 850,000 gallons of gasoline would result in the same CO2 emissions. While neither agency has energy-efficient vehicles at this time, other city departments have transitioned a percentage of their fleet to electric or hybrid models. In total, the City of Tampa has 272 alternative fuel vehicles, accounting to 13.4% of its entire fleet.

"We are thankful for the support of elected officials, like U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, who work with the Tampa Police Department to find ways of enhancing public safety through improved technology and equipment," said Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw. "We are excited to add these new electric vehicles to our fleet, providing another method of driving forward in our mission of making our city safer together."

Over the next few weeks, the department will work on identifying the make and model that will best suit its needs. When the electric police vehicles arrive in Tampa will depend on availability and other factors, but the City of Tampa is eager to welcome the new additions as soon as possible.