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Tampa Police Department secures nearly $1 million for electric patrol cars

A white truck sits out front of a blue building with the words "Tampa Police" on it.
Tyler Luginski
Trucks like this one from other city of Tampa departments will be part of the police department's new fleet of electric vehicles.

With federal funding obtained by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, the department will begin purchasing the new vehicles for future use.

The City of Tampa received a federal grant to purchase up to 13 new electric vehicles for the police department.

The new additions to the department’s fleet will be the first in testing eco-friendly options for citywide public safety divisions.

Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said at a Tuesday press conference that the cars will be a great benefit in reducing the organization's carbon footprint.

"They are faster, the performance is better, and they save us money. The police officers obviously are going to like them — they're silent, you're not going to know when we're approaching because you won't hear an engine sound," Bercaw said.

"There's so many benefits to these cars, and the fact that we're getting a grant for these cars is great."

“This initiative is just one of many we are excited and proud to implement in our city as we move toward a more sustainable future," Mayor Jane Castor said.

“We are immensely grateful for these valuable federal dollars that will help us reduce our carbon footprint, improve air quality, and reduce fuel costs to taxpayers."

A group of people stand holding a large check inside a building.
Sydney Devitt
Office of Kathy Castor
Funding for the new fleet of electric vehicles was secured by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who spoke at Tuesday's press conference.

Currently, the city of Tampa has 272 alternative fuel vehicles across all departments, or around 13% of its entire fleet.

In the coming weeks, the TPD will select which makes and models of vehicles will serve officers best.

Currently, there’s no set date for when the new vehicles will be introduced on the roads.

Tyler Luginski is a WUSF Rush Family Radio News intern for the summer of 2024.