BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi Police Department is swapping out some of its older patrol cars and replacing them with new, technology-laden sport utility vehicles.
Six Ford utility pursuit rated vehicles, two Chevrolet Tahoe K9 units and four Harley Davidson bikes are new to the department and ready to hit the streets.
"Basically, we get the vehicle in, and it's a plain Jane vehicle with nothing on it," Lewis Brent said.
Brent has been the police department's vehicle maintenance supervisor for 22 years. He said there are a lot of new features in the new patrol cars.
"We have a light bar, push bumper, all the extra lights, the prisoner restraint systems and a lot of wiring," Brent said.
Police Chief John Miller said there's a new seat belt restraining system, too. It makes his officers' jobs easier and safer.
"In the past, officers have had to reach across a prisoner to get the seat belt, and many times, officers have been beaten or spit on. With the new restraint systems, once they sit in, you can reach up, no more reaching across and you can snap the seat belt right in place," Miller said.
To keep up with the advancing technology, the new SUV cruisers feature LED lighting. Miller explained they're also equipped with what they call a TPO package, which allows officers to be able to clean the inside of their cars more easily.
Miller said the best part of getting the new cars is none of Biloxi citizens' tax dollars were spent to make these big purchases.
"We have a drug forfeiture account, and when we can, when we have enough money there, we can buy what we need to buy without costing the tax payers any money," Miller said proudly.
Just in time for old school classics to cruise the coast, Miller said these babies are right on time. He said the department is also working on getting tag recognition equipment for some of its patrol cars.