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Washington State Patrol rolls out last Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
It’s the end of era for the Washington State Patrol. The last Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ever to be used by the agency has rolled out of the Patrol’s fleet section in Olympia at the end of June, and is now assigned to a trooper in Spokane.
Ford has stopped making what came to be known as the “Crown Vic.” The car is so beloved by troopers that the Patrol held a small ceremony to mark the occasion.
“We understand the affection that an old time sheriff might have had for their horse,” said Assistant Chief James Lever. “We’ve been through a lot with these cars, and they’ve never failed us.”
The Patrol is switching to the Chevrolet Caprice as a replacement for its marked patrol fleet.
“Just as we face the prospect of a number of troopers retiring in the near future, we have a lot of Crown Vics that are also ready for retirement,” Lever said. “That means our fleet section will be outfitting new cars at a rate we’ve not seen before.”
To get that job done, the State Patrol has borrowed a process from the business world called “Lean.” A mentor from Boeing helped fleet personnel streamline the process of equipping trooper vehicles with flashing lights, radios, computers and the trademark badge-and-flash paint scheme.
“What better company than Boeing to help us be more efficient at outfitting police cars?” Lever said. “We’re grateful to Boeing for sharing its expertise in Lean and we’ve seen production jump dramatically.”
The Patrol is adopting the Lean process in other parts of the agency, also with mentoring from experts in the business world. The next Lean project is an effort to reduce turnaround time for samples being examined in the agency’s Toxicology Lab.