Police department replaces Impala with Tahoe - Adds a little shamrock spirit

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Photos by Kyle Quick

The New Haven Police Department recently purchased a 2012 Chevy Tahoe that will replace their 2008 Chevy Impala.  The Tahoe is ranked number one in safety among GM vehicles used by police departments.

Chief John Sheible said, “The Tahoe will be much safer and more comfortable for our officers to drive.  There is not a huge amount of space in the Impala, making it more difficult to get in and out of the vehicle."

We asked Sheible what his response would be to critics who may ask why the department chose a vehicle that costs more and will use more fuel.

Sheible said,  “The reason we replaced the front drive Impala with the rear wheel drive Tahoe is because we have been running these cars over 130 thousand miles.  Once they reach 80 thousand miles, we begin spending a lot of money on frontend wear…we’re buying axles, struts, and bearings.”

“The Tahoe is built on a truck chassis, which is more reliable, will save us money in the long run on maintenance, and will last a year longer than the Impala.”

Sheible said, “We added a lot more lighting to the Tahoe making it more visible during the day time."

"Intersections are one of the most dangerous spots; whether we are working a car accident or approaching an intersection, the added lighting will not only make the vehicle more visible but also may prevent an accident.”

We asked where the idea come from to have a shamrock on the side of the Tahoe.  Sheible said, "Assistant Police Chief Dan Terry actually came up the idea."

Terry said, “Most departments have their badge on the sides and we thought, why not put a shamrock.  When you think of New Haven you think of the Shamrocks.  The school district is a huge part of the community and we wanted to recognize that.  When people see the shamrock they will immediately know we are from New Haven.”

Chief Sheible also wanted to thank Gary Liesmann from Liesmann Auto for doing the striping on the Tahoe for free.  Sheible said, "We very much appreciate his generosity."