Dodge Charges into Kitsap’s Police Scene

Some local law enforcement agencies are adding to their policing repertoire a new patrol car that packs quite an automotive punch.

With quite the souped-up engine, the Dodge Charger has been raising law enforcement eyebrows across the country, and I’m hearing more rumblings of its arrival here on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Here’s the heat: the “optimum” 2006 Dodge Charger comes equipped with a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that puts 340 horses under the hood and can do zero to 60 in six seconds, according to Daimler Chrysler.

And the Charger is now on price par with long-time law enforcement icon the Ford Crown Victoria — the Charger has a base price of about $26,825 and the “Crown Vic” at $25,445, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Last I heard, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office has purchased a pair of Chargers for its traffic unit, and the Washington State Patrol has already begun using one on the Olympic Peninsula.

Tom Wolfe, Captain of Bremerton Police’s Patrol Division, said that the car includes an “awesome acceleration” package. He says his department is more than a year away from even thinking of purchasing one, but acknowledges that for county deputies and state troopers, the Charger’s power is more a priority because they work more open highways than city streets.

So will the Charger charge its way to dominating the law enforcement market?

Not so fast — the Crown Vic dominates the market, with 45,000 to 50,000 sold each year, while the Charger’s emerged on the scene with about 3,000 sales since its introduction in fall 2005, according to the Detroit Free Press.

For those non-law enforcement, what have you seen on the roads lately? For those in law enforcement, what’s your take on the Charger?

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