The Pine Bluff Police Department has decided to add some durability to their vehicle fleet with 11 brand new, 2017 Ford Explorers joining the Patrol Division.

“There are some parts of the city that are really low and when they flood, the Dodge Chargers were getting stalled out in the high water,” Deputy Chief of Police Kelvin Hadley said. “The Fords are higher up, and we believe we will be able to get around in those areas a lot easier.”

Hadley, who supervises the Patrol Division, said in cases where the Chargers flooded out, it was necessary to call a wrecker, an expense that he hopes won't be necessary with the new Explorers. While the new Fords are joining the Patrol Division, that doesn't mean that the department is through with the Dodges, as Hadley said two new Dodge Chargers were also purchased for the division at the same time as the Ford Explorers.

“All of the patrol lieutenants have one of the Explorers and so do some of the administrative staff,” Hadley said. “I have one and I love it. There's more room, more space, and I don't sit as low to the ground. I traded in my Charger after driving one of the Explorers.”

Although the department has had the vehicles for a while, they were not put on the streets until they could acquire new radio systems to go into them.

“We didn't want to put the old technology in the new cars so we waited until we could get the new equipment,” Hadley said.

The Explorers come with four-wheel drive, in-vehicle cages and a full police package. Hadley said some of them are being driven by patrol officers on all three shifts.

“We have some officers who are stockier than others, and the new cars are great for them,” he said.

Assistant Chief of Police Kelvin Sergeant said he had driven one of the new Explorers, although not one with all the new equipment in it.

“It seems like it handled really well,” Sergeant said.