Eupora PD powers up: Deploys state’s first Tesla patrol car

EUPORA, Miss. (WCBI) – Eupora Police Chief Lawrence Caradine is charging up his department for change. It’s a priority he believes will pay off.

“I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to try and see how much money it would save us. Right now, I know it saves us about $5,000 in gas and oil changes. Oil changes are about $80, and if you have 6-8 cars, that is not cheap. So, this helps us save a lot,” said Caradine.

The idea was to see how Caradine could save money in the long run.

Electric vehicles run off batteries. They can be expensive and need charging. However, Caradine isn’t worried about a bad charge keeping officers away from a call for help.

“You can drive it six to seven hours from where we live. You charge it up to 100 percent, and they have driven for a whole day. They used about 45% of it, and then they plugged it back up, and it was ready to go again,” said Caradine.

Caradine believes the Tesla will allow his officers to get to crime scenes quicker. It offers many features other police vehicles did not provide.

“If you get too close to a car, the brakes come on. If you do not put your signal lights on before trying to get over, it forces you to stay in your lane. It has cameras all the way around it, you get to see the road on the side, and you can even see the road behind you,” said Caradine.

Chief Caradine said as the city of Eupora continues to grow, he expects the police department to purchase more Tesla vehicles.

The Eupora Police Department has a charging station right behind the police department, so they can charge the Tesla whenever they need to.

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