By Lauren Williams
8:45 PM PST, January 5, 2013
On Tuesday the Irvine Police Department will unveil the newest addition to the force at the city's Civic Center piazza.
From 1 p.m. until the end of Tuesday's City Council meeting, community members can check out the new Ford Police Interceptor that will replace the Crown Victorias used by the department. Ford produced its last Crown Vic in 2011.
For more than a year Irvine officers and technicians worked on finding a suitable replacement, and last fall the Police Department began plans to move to the new model, according to an announcement from the department.
The Interceptor has the same amount of interior space as the Crown Vic, in addition to desirable safety features, the department said.
There was another factor Irvine police considered when selecting the larger of the two Interceptor models.
"The Police Interceptor was also the best suited to accommodate the varying statures of Irvine's officers, many of who of whom would feel right at home in an NBA team photo," the announcement said.
The SUV model also accommodated equipment used by IPD.
Each vehicle takes a few weeks to be modified to fit Irvine police needs, according to Lt. Julia Engen.
Although the department is rolling out its first Interceptor Tuesday, it will take some time before all squad cars are the same model.
"It will take us about three years before all police cars look like this," Engen said.