Haverhill Police Roll Out Six SUV Cruisers with New Look, Outfitted by Local Firm

Haverhill Mayor Melinda E. Barrett inspects the interior of one of the city’s new 2023 Ford Interceptors. (WHAV News photograph.)

(Additional photographs below.)

Six new 2023 Ford Interceptors—actually police utility versions of the automaker’s Explorer model— are joining the Haverhill Police Department’s fleet this week.

The SUVs, which Ford describes as the “first-ever pursuit rated hybrid police SUVs,” were purchased through Colonial Automotive Group and outfitted by Haverhill-based Adamson Industries.  Haverhill Police Chief Robert P. Pistone told WHAV the department maintains between 12 and 14 cruisers on front-line duty.

“These are the first new cars we’ve had in three years. Usually, it’s about a three-year cycle. These run 24/7, so a lot of wear and tear in them,” he said.

One of the department’s top criteria is vehicles must have all-wheel drive, which are best suited for the city’s hilly terrain. The city ordered the SUVs last summer, but delivery took awhile. “There is such a shortage on gas-powered vehicles that we actually ordered these back in August of last year and we’re finally just getting these now,” the chief explained.

At the end of three years, the cars typically have a couple hundred thousand miles on them when they move into backup status. Pistone said the department’s cruisers last longer than they might otherwise because the city has a full-time mechanic. During their lifespans, however, those cars may end up with a new transmission or engine all installed outside of warranty.

The basic SUV costs about $38,000, but another $20,000 is required to equip and outfit the vehicles to meet department needs. Pistone said, the city turned to Broadway Industrial Park-based Adamson Industries, which is nationally known for serving first responders.

“When I say outfit, we’re talking the light bars, the sirens, the plastic seat in the back, the divider—all the equipment that actually makes it a police cruiser,” he explained.

Mayor Melinda E. Barrett was on hand to see the new cruisers roll out. While she took office only last month, Barrett played a role last year on the City Council to get the new cars into the budget. “Well, this was appropriated in this fiscal year’s budget that we’re in right now so we can afford these and hopefully we can afford the replacements that we need in there years or as they rotate,” she said.

Residents will notice the cruisers also have a distinctive, new look. The chief said an internal committee came up with three concepts to compare and evaluate. The black vehicles sport outlined lettering, the department’s shield and smaller stickers showing the departments federal and state accreditations. Pistone said the new design combines an old school look with modern, but basic elements.

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