Merced Co. Sheriff's get new technological patrol units

MERCED, Calif.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office is starting to change its fleet to Ford Interceptors. Officials say Ford no longer offers Crown Victorias, so they had to make a change.

The SUV'S cost about $4,000 more, but they come equipped with lights and other features that help balance out the price.

Deputies say the new vehicles are more fuel-efficient and safer because of improved technology. They're also equipped with computers.

Sgt. Scott Dover of Merced Co. Sheriff's Office said, "That's a new step for us. Our dispatch center is overwhelmed with the amount of deputies on the street and the amount of calls we're taking. This new computer system is going to probably relieve about half of that."

The Sheriff's Office has two of the new SUV's now, and it expects to replace about seven to ten of the current cars each year as they reach their mileage limit.

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