Westport Police Department purchases Tesla Model 3

The Westport Police Department bought a Tesla Model 3 to be one of their squad cars, which cost the town about $52,000.

Photo courtesy of the Westport Police Department

The Westport Police Department bought a Tesla Model 3 to be one of their squad cars, which cost the town about $52,000.

Julia Kasabian '21, Web Arts Editor

The Westport Police Department (WPD) bought a Tesla Model 3 to be one of their squad cars, which cost the town about $52,000 and is being outfitted with police necessities such as sirens, a computer, a weapon rack and special tires. 

The new police vehicle has gotten backlash from Westporters. “I don’t think that the Westport Police needed a Tesla,” Holly Lott ’21 said. “It isn’t a fashion show. I particularly think they could be doing a lot more with their money.”

“It isn’t a fashion show. I particularly think they could be doing a lot more with their money.””

— Holly Lott '21

The WPD defended the purchase citing its “superior performance, five star crash ratings and industry-leading collision avoidance technology available in the Model 3 compared to the Town’s typical squad cars,” according to a Dec.10 press release.

The WPD also chose the Tesla Model 3 because it is an electric car. “The energy cost for the Model 3 per mile will be $0.040,” according to Patch, “while the fuel cost for a Ford Explorer is $0.127 per mile, adding up to a fuel savings of $13,770 just in the first 3 years.” This is not the first electric car for the WPD, as the department replaced a gas vehicle with a hybrid Toyota Prius in 2007. 

The Model 3 can reach 60 miles per hour in approximately three seconds, and comes equipped with cameras on the front, rear and sides that would need to be installed at an extra cost in other police vehicles. The car can reach a top speed of 162 miles per hour and can drive up to 322 miles when fully charged, according to the Tesla website. 

Still, others see the purchase as frivolous.“I think it’s silly that they decided to spend money on something so pointless,”  Gabby Lampugnale ’21 said. “The cars we had before were fine. I mean, I think it might look cool but what are the benefits of buying it?”