ATTLEBORO — Hybrid cars are very quiet when on battery power which could be a big advantage for police who sometimes need to be stealthy.
And if Mayor Paul Heroux gets his way, police will get that opportunity.
Heroux is hoping to transform the city’s gasoline-powered fleet of police cruisers to the hybrid combination of battery and gasoline power.
The move comes as the mayor continues to push his green agenda which so far has included the adoption of a more stringent building code, which mandates greater energy efficiency in homes, and a separate measure which banned plastic shopping bags.
Heroux is striving to get the city a “Green Community” designation from the state that will qualify it for grants to pay for more green projects.
“I am letting it be known that as a matter of policy, going forward, whenever possible, my administration is going to purchase hybrid vehicles,” the mayor said in a press release Friday. “The fleet of police cruisers is exempt from the Green Community requirements; however, I am including the police fleet.”
But while police need to be quiet sometimes, at other times and probably more often, there’s a need for speed.
However, Heroux said the Ford Explorer Hybrid can fulfill both requirements.
“It has a strong output and will be able to meet the demands of the standard internal combustible engine the police currently use,” he said.
Hybrids will be purchased for other departments as well, Heroux said.
Next week he’ll submit a request to the council to buy a hybrid “administrative vehicle” for the public works department, he said.
Heroux said the city is expected to get a $250,000 state grant to help with its transition to a “Green Community.”
“This $250,000 is going to be used to help offset the slightly higher cost of the hybrids,” he said. “We are saving money, helping the environment, and taking the lead on using new technology.”
In addition, Heroux said he plans to install power-producing solar panels over city-owned parking lots.
He noted that city street lights and building lights are being switched to energy efficient LEDs and that the city derives its electricity from renewable energy sources.