Troopers Shed No Tears As State Police End Use Of Iconic Cruiser
It was pretty easy to spot a police car in Vermont in the years around the turn of the century. Local or state officers were likely behind the wheel of a singularly iconic car: the Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor. But no longer.
He's been with the Vermont State Police for 21 years, and in law enforcement for even longer. And he’s quite familiar with the storied Crown Vic.
Despite driving the cars for decades, Cpl. Magnant says he and other officers are not feeling nostalgic.
"A rear-wheel drive vehicle in Vermont, with the different weather conditions we experience, the different road conditions and things like that, sometimes could be a bit of a challenge," he recalls.
But a weary smile gives voice to just how difficult some of those challenges were.
"It would happen on occasion where you might ... get stuck," he says.
"I recall after being assigned my state police vehicle, a couple U-turns that had not been completely plowed out, and not realizing, pulling in and not coming out the other side. You pull into where the snow banks had been piled up from the plows and really, literally almost taking your life into your own hands trying to get out of those U-turns, not being able to see over the tops of them really, just due to height limitations of the vehicle itself."
The problems didn't get any easier off the highway.
"[I was] talking to one of our detectives who reminded me he used to carry snowshoes in the trunk of his Crown Victoria cruiser because it wasn’t a guarantee that he’d be able to get everywhere that he needed to go, and sometimes he’d have to strap on snowshoes to be able to get to some of the places, calls that he’d need to get to," Cpl. Mangant says.
"I can certainly appreciate that," he adds. "I remember hiking in quite a distance some times to get places just because the vehicles wouldn’t make it."
Today, the illustrious police sedan is being replaced—for the most part—by larger SUVs.
Cpl. Magnant says that makes for safer winter driving, more room for gear and equipment, and even an easier time transporting people in the back of the vehicle.
And he says even small upgrades in the newer cars are a welcome addition.
Broadcast on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.