EVLN(HOLLYWOOD POLICE LOVES PINT-SIZED PATROL EVs)
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LOCAL CITY LOVES PINT-SIZED PATROL CARS HOLLYWOOD POLICE
WITH 2 ELECTRIC VEHICLES NEW CHIEF BORROWED IDEA FROM MIAMI BEACH
By TANYA WEINBERG
12/23/1999 Sun-Sentinel Ft. Lauderdale
Broward Metro 6B (Copyright 1999 by the Sun-Sentinel)
The latest innovation to hit the Broadwalk has been brought
to beachgoers by arrested drug dealers.
Using money seized in narcotics operations, the Hollywood
Police Department has purchased two snappy electric cars to patrol the beach
for $8,000 each, said spokeswoman Sgt. Roni Mangan. "It's all
designed to make the officers a little more approachable," she said,
citing the zip-off doors on the mini-cars.
The cars made their Broadwalk debut Dec. 12 at the Candy Cane
"They were a hit," said Mangan.
Aside from beach patrol, the department will use the cars
downtown and at special events, when needed, she said. They are street-legal
and can run 30 miles after being plugged into a wall socket for eight to 10
Slightly bigger than a golf cart, the Bombardier can
accelerate to its maximum speed of 20 mph in 20 feet, said Larry Kelley, the
salesman at Hideaway Yacht Group in Pompano Beach who sold the cars to
Hollywood and other Florida police departments.
"That's fast enough to nab a mugger and to get across a
busy intersection," he said.
In all, about 20 Florida agencies are using the electric
cars, which spew no emissions and cost an average of 41 cents to charge,
said. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach, and Aventura police departments
began using electric cars over the past couple of years.
Hollywood's new police chief, James Scarberry, who came from
Miami Beach, brought the idea with him. Tourists and business owners went
ga-ga over the cars when they hit Lincoln Road in August.
"You get a lot of attention when you drive them,"
The only complaint he said he has heard is from a 350-pound
Fort Lauderdale employee who squeezes into the pint-sized car to patrol that
city's municipal parking garage.
The Bombardier NV, or Neighborhood Vehicle car, was
originally designed for gated communities in the South but has caught on in
Florida as a law enforcement and security vehicle, said Bombardier sales
administrator Vicki Northrop.
After Bombardier lobbied for the change, Congress passed a
low- speed vehicle law in July 1998 that allowed states to adopt their own
laws regarding street use, Northrop said. Now the Neighborhood Vehicle cars
are street-legal in 22 states.
Tanya Weinberg can be reached at
or 954- 385-7923.
PHOTO; Caption: Staff photo/Preston C. Mack
NEW PATROL CAR:
Hollywood police Sgt. Paul F. Dungan prepares to drive the
city's new electric vehicle at Young Circle Park. Hollywood purchased two of
the Bombardier electric vehicles to patrol the beach on an experimental
basis. Each vehicle cost $8,000.
Sun-Sentinel Ft. Lauderdale