The Alameda County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office has installed idle-reduction systems on eight of its patrol vehicles, including five Dodge Chargers, two Ford Police Interceptor sedans, and a Chevrolet Tahoe PPV.

The county is using Energy Xtreme's Independence Package, which is a power management device that allows an officer to use vehicle features and equipment that require power without turning on the engine.

Example uses include emergency lights and on-board computers, the county General Services Agency's Transportation Services Manager Doug Bond told Government Fleet magazine.

"All of our eight vehicles are up and running with the IP2 units," said Phillip Kobernick, a county sustainability specialist. "A fantastic job was done working around the configurations of four different types of vehicles and getting our deputies vehicles' out the door as fast as possible."

According to Bond, the county has not yet decided whether to equip the system on other vehicles yet but may do so depending on future data collected.

"We will be reviewing the data from the pilot, analyzing the fuel savings and system payback timeframe, then make decisions regarding additional deployments," Bond said.

By Greg Basich