By Nancy Reardon
MethuenLife Writer

Six new police cruisers hit the streets of Methuen at the end of February, replacing six aging vehicles.

The cruisers are 2023 Ford Explorers; the cost for all six, including the special installs, was $255,692. The six cruisers that were replaced had between 181,00 and 223,000 miles on them.

The new cruisers, which includes a supervisor vehicle, are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment installed by Island Tech Services in Atkinson, N.H.

“The new cruisers are equipped with the Federal Pathfinder System, a lighting system that dims the lights during the day along with night patterns making it easier on the eyes,” explained Jordan Hillner from Island Tech Services. “They also have a voice command through the siren system with preloaded voice commands in English and Spanish. An example of this is if an officer stops a vehicle, they can push a button in the cruiser and a voice will instruct the operator to, ‘Turn off the engine and place your hands on the wheel’ in both English or Spanish. The Pathfinder is all about officer safety as well as citizen safety which is always the main goal.”

Police Chief Scott McNamara was pleased to say, “We are really excited about our new police cruisers. This is the third straight year the mayor and the City Council have chosen to include new police cruisers in our city’s Capital Improvement Plan. We, at the MPD, are grateful for their commitment towards rebuilding our fleet. We are equally grateful to the taxpayers of Methuen whose funds are being used for this purpose.

“Every new cruiser we purchase goes first to our uniformed line officers. They stay on the line for roughly 3 years because we average between 40,000 and 50,000 miles on each one each year. Towards the end of the third year, they come off the line and are re-purposed for officers in our Administrative Bureau,” McNamara said.

City Council Chairman Joel Faretra said, “It’s a no-brainer supporting this initiative knowing the new vehicles are going where they are needed, on the road for patrols. We thank Chief McNamara for making sure the mistakes of the past, when it came to new vehicles, were not repeated.”