The Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department is updating its fleet.

The vehicles were the first new rides for the department since 1997 and made their debut Oct. 31. The new silver-and-blue Ford Police Interceptor cruisers were purchased to replace some of the traditional white-and-blue vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on them, police said.

The cars were test-driven by officers on a driving course set up in the parking lot of FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Police Chief Mark A. Magaw told reporters that the new sportier, fuel-efficient vehicles represent “the new department.”

In addition to a cruiser number, each car is marked with the Prince George’s police Twitter handle, @PGPDNews, to tell citizens where they can go to find information. The cruisers also feature the emblem for Crime Solvers, the program that allows citizens to assist police in solving crimes by providing tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of culprits. The back bumper bears the department’s motto: “First to Serve.”

In a video of the unveiling posted online, Magaw said the Twitter handle will allow younger residents who don’t get their news from newspapers or television to know where to go for information about the department’s activities.

An additional 75 cruisers have been ordered; the department did not specify a cost for the cars.

According to the police department’s blog, Magaw asked County Executive Rushern L. Baker III to enhance the fleet when he was appointed interim chief, and Baker gave the thumbs up.

“As a police officer, you spend 10 hours a day in the vehicle. This is your office,” Magaw said.

Magaw said he was proud of the cars, and pointed out that the vehicles’colors mirror those of the gray-and-blue uniforms worn by officers.

“This car defines us and brands us of who we are,” he said.

Police said a team from the department traveled to Detroit and Indiana “to check out several makes and models and ultimately chose the Ford Interceptor.”

It was unclear how much the trip cost, or why a trip was necessary to select patrol cars

Zachary Lester

AFRO Staff Writer