LABELLE, FL -- With gasoline cost reaching $2.00 per gallon and the general
concern of the continuing rise of fuel costs, Sheriff Worley has joined the
ranks of many law enforcement agencies across the state in conducting a
cost analysis of the Toyota Prius. Law enforcement agencies in Florida
have been using the Toyota Prius since December 2001.
Sheriff Worley recently purchased a 2004 Toyota 'hybrid" Prius. The hybrid
vehicle is currently assigned to Deputy Sheriff Martin Meyer who is
assigned to the City Limits of LaBelle where most speeds do not exceed 45
mhp. Although the vehicle is not a pursuit vehicle, Deputy Meyer stated
that it has plenty of room and power. Although the car appears small from
the outside, on the inside there is plenty of headroom and legroom this is
due largely in part to the "tall car" design. Deputy Meyer states he gets
no less than 33 miles per gallon.
The Toyota Prius uses both traditional gasoline and electricity to move the
car. When the vehicle is idling or operating at a low speed, the engine
automatically shuts down and switches to battery power, the gasoline engine
will come on automatically while accelerating or after the vehicle has been
powered off the battery for an extended period of time, saving fuel and
eliminating emissions during that time.
Motor Trend magazine awarded the 2004 Toyota Prius Car of the Year and the
Sierra Club's first Environmental Engineering Award. Both award confirm
that the Prius has its place on both the U.S. roadways and in law
enforcement as well as the environmental benefits.
Sheriff Worley has determined that the Prius will provide added savings to
the taxpayers of Hendry County and will consider adding additional vehicles
of this type to our existing fleet.