The “Heat” Just Got Cooler!

The “Heat” Just Got Cooler!

Dallas Police Conserve Fuel, Emissions, CO2 and the Planet!
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The “Heat” Just Got Cooler! Dallas Police Conserve Fuel, Emissions, CO2 and the Planet!
Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 11:20am


From the files of Police Squad: The call comes in - burglary in process at 69 Elm St! Detective Frank Drebbin and Captain Ed Hocken jump into their squad car to race to the scene, and …the battery is dead. Cut to the two men in blue being chewed out in the Chief’s office.

Well, that scene was never aired, for the simple reason that it’s not very good. But a much better story is coming out of the Dallas Police Department, where squad cars are being outfitted with a power management system called the Independence Package.

Police squads require a ton of power to run laptops, radios, lights, sirens and other state of the art technology like dashboard donut and coffee machines. Well, not the last two. But dead batteries are an issue that plagues officers. The solution has been to let squad cars idle while the officers are checking your registration and insurance, investigating a scene, or stopping at Dunkin Donuts to regain their strength. This is bad for the cars in terms of wear and tear, and bad for the planet because of emissions like carbon monoxide and CO2. It also wastes a lot of gas. An hour of idling is equivalent to 35 miles of driving that never shows up on your odometer. It can age a car before its time.

What the power management system does is run all the electricals when the engine is off. It consists of two solid state power storage devices that live in the trunk. The officers can run headlights, spotlights, siren, red/blue/white lights, radio and laptops for up to 5 hours without killing the battery or spewing exhaust. The system also tracks usage. On average, the squads in Dallas are running their equipment off the power management system about 5 hours a day - that’s 5 hours less idling, fuel consumption, emissions, and wear and tear on the engine. The systems may also extend the life of the cars themselves, saving taxpayer dollars as well as the energy and materials to make a new car.

While TV shows titled “NYPD Green” and “Hill Street Greens” may not catch on, the men and women in blue in Dallas are conserving resources as they capture crooks, and protecting the planet as well as the people. That deserves a reward! is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.