The Wilton Police Department is going green–and saving taxpayers some green as well.

The department announced Monday, Feb. 3 that it is one of the first agencies in Connecticut to purchase the new Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid. According to Ford the new hybrid model has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg city/24 mpg highway/24 mpg combine, which is a 41% improvement over the current Police Interceptor Utility equipped with a conventional 3.7-liter gas engine.

The new model is projected to save taxpayers between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle in fuel costs annually. The 2020 model is the first-ever pursuit-rated police utility vehicle with a standard hybrid engine.

This past fall members of the Wilton Police Department were able to test drive the new hybrid model, and were impressed with the performance of the vehicle. At Monday evening’s meeting with the Board of Selectmen, Police Chief John Lynch and Capt. Thomas Conlan told the board members that the new hybrid does not sacrifice any of the performance they have been able to get with a traditional police vehicle.

According to a press release from Conlan, the technology is actually very suitable for the way police vehicles are used.

“Hybrid technology is ideal for law enforcement because of the potentially significant idle-time fuel savings. When traditional police vehicles are stationary, the conventional gasoline engine must run continuously to power emergency lighting, radios, computers and other on-board electrical equipment.

“The new hybrid powertrain of the Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid allows the engine to shut off for extended periods, powering electrical equipment via its lithium-ion battery and helping achieve significant reductions in fuel usage and CO2 emissions over the previous generation Police Interceptor Utility.”