Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Um, what? A front-page story in today's CT says that the Blacksburg Police Department has bought a PT Cruiser for their DARE program (and presumably for local law enforcement, as well). At first, I thought this was a colossal waste of money. I mean, what's wrong with the ubiquitous Crown Victoria? I sat down to write a screed against the BPD for wasting taxpayer money on what sounded like a pet project. It didn't help that the DARE officer had this to say:

"Since the PT Cruiser's been out, I've been in love with it. Some people asked why I didn't get a Corvette or something like that, but I just like it because it's just a different car."

However, investigative pseudo-journalist that I am, I went and looked up the facts. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor retails for $23,175, while the basic PT Cruiser sells for around $17,000. On the other hand, the Crown Victoria has things like a 4.6 V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive, compared to the Cruiser's 2.5 V-4 and front-wheel drive. However, if it's going to be used for the DARE program and not to chase down marauding bandits (Blacksburg: Fortress Virginia), we should be okay.

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