University Police Department gets hybrid vehicle

CSU Monterey Bay’s Police Department has joined a growing number of law enforcement agencies parking Toyota Prius hybrids next to their Crown Victorias as they go green.

Insert a description of the image here.It reflects an international trend – dozens of police departments including Lincoln, Neb., New York City, London and Abu Dhabi have adopted the fuel-efficient vehicles for various uses.

Police Chief Earl Lawson was quick to point out that the Prius is for “civilian” use. It will be used by parking enforcement officers and by the community service officers (CSOs) who staff the night walk program.

“We traded in a big gas-guzzling Ford F-150 for the Prius,” Chief Lawson said. “We wanted a smaller, more efficient, more environmentally friendly vehicle.

“We’re interested in acquiring an all-electric vehicle or another hybrid,” he said. Those vehicles aren’t suitable for use as patrol cars, but are perfect for other UPD needs, such as parking enforcement that involves a lot of stop-and-go driving.

The vehicle was leased from the state Department of General Services. “There’s a waiting list for hybrid vehicles,” Lawson said. “We’re lucky to have it."