Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that the City Council approved the purchase of ten new police cars at no cost to local property taxpayers, using funds seized from criminals. The Council took this action at its meeting held on May 16. The purchase is chargeable to the U.S. Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Forfeiture Fund and the Customs and Border Patrol Forfeiture Fund. Those funds consist of seized criminal assets that the federal government released to the City of Bayonne following the completion of court proceedings. The funds are left over from the construction of the emergency operations center in police headquarters, which came in under budget. The police car purchase will take place under a New Jersey state contract, for which the state has negotiated bulk rate prices for government agencies. The total cost of the ten vehicles will be $350,970.00.
The ten cars to be purchased are Ford Interceptors. The Ford Interceptor is similar in design to civilian Ford Taurus vehicles. The Interceptor’s interior design is compatible with the set-up of Bayonne’s police car computer packages. The new cars will replace vehicles from 2005 and earlier that have exhausted their lifespans, due to constant use. The old cars will be auctioned off. The Ford Interceptor is the successor model to the Ford Crown Victoria (Crown Vic), which has ceased production in 2011 after many years of service to police departments. The Bayonne Police Department and numerous other law enforcement agencies across the country acquired Crown Vics during purchasing cycles in the last two decades.
The rear doors of 2012 Ford Interceptors have been modified to open an additional ten degrees for easier loading and unloading of back seat passengers.