A Trooper’s Perspective

by Duane Johnson #280

“The Charger”

By far the most talked and asked about topic from the past couple of weeks for me has been my new patrol car. As I have said before my old 2004 Ford was simply worn out with nearly 160,000 miles on it. I have nothing but fond memories of it but it was ready to retire. I was told by two trooper friends downstate I would hate the Charger at first but in a couple of weeks would get used to it. They were right. Everything about the new car is different as far as layout. I have been in Crown Vics for the last ten years on the patrol and all three I have had were only cosmetically different. Ten years of habit can be tough to break when you consider almost everything I do inside the car is habit.
As for the Charger it runs and handles extremely well and is reported to have a top speed of over 150 mph. I may never know exactly what mine will do. The most important thing about a patrol car used for traffic enforcement is how fast it accelerates. Slower acceleration means you have to reach a much higher speed to catch speeders going the opposite direction. This model Charger is exceptionally quick from start. The engine is a 5.7 liter Hemi. I first feared it was going to get much less fuel economy but as far as patrol work I managed about 18 mpg from the Ford and it looks like the Charger will get about 17. Highway cruising without chasing down cars I am not sure about yet but I doubt it will approach the 22-24 I usually got with the Ford. Since I don’t cruise without working traffic very much I really don’t think the overall average will be much less.
So far so good. I’ll let you know what I think if you ask. The tax-payer dollars were very well spent I think.

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