By Greg Russell
Call them the “green police.”
In keeping with the University’s “green theme,” the U of M’s campus police department
has a new look, which is already amounting to savings in more ways than one. The University’s
first hybrid patrol vehicle — a Ford Escape — has been added to the fleet and is being
put to wise use.
Campus police officers Ryan Craft (left) and Glenda Bowie with the new hybrid patrol
vehicle at the School of Law building in downtown Memphis. The U of M's Department
of Police Services is largely responsible for the University's status as the safest
campus in the state. (Photo by Lindsey Lissau)
“We were looking for something that would be economical in which the officers can
commute daily to the downtown Law School,” said U of M Police Services Director Bruce
Harber, who noted that campus police make three or more patrols per day to the new
location of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
“We plan on getting another one or two soon, and if they work out, perhaps replace
our fleet over time with hybrids. With the driving patterns around campus — stopping,
starting and the 25 mph speed limits — we think the savings will be significant since
the vehicles will run on electric power at low speeds and while idling. There should
be environmental benefits such as a reduction in the use of fuel and reduced emissions
due to the electric power.”
Police Services was asked to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent, but according
to Deputy Director Derek Myers, the department was able to triple the reduction.
“Capt. (Kevin) Langellier has been watching our fuel consumption closely and we reduced
use by 30 percent
for the regular fleet last year by actively encouraging the officers to park and turn
off the cars as much as possible, while engaging in alternative patrol methods, such
as foot and bike patrols,” Myers said.