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LETTER: Oak Bay police shouldn’t delay switch to electric vehicles

I would like to comment on the article of Nov. 4 “Police board approves electric bikes for patrol.” The writer more correctly could have titled the same article “Police board turns its back on climate concerns.”

Police operations is one of the most carbon-heavy services you can find. We all know the angst of seeing stationary police cars idling away. I am told by the officers that this is necessary to keep the computing platforms that they rely on powered up at all times. After salaries and benefits, gasoline and vehicle maintenance is one of the largest costs of running a police force.

The police board has decided that they will defer any decision on the use of electric patrol cars until next year. The reason given in the Oak Bay News article is they want to “allow for the technology to evolve.”

The police board needs to look at every person living in Oak Bay under the age of 50. These folks will be alive in 2050 when summers mean inside only living for about a month according to the latest climate science.

Why wait? Electric car technology has evolved. These vehicles have the range, acceleration, handling and specific safety features for police work. They are ready to go. They use no gasoline, require no maintenance other than tire replacement, last longer and there are up-fitting services which will install the police electronics in the car. They are incredibly cheap to run and some receive updates over the air so they never get old.

The police board needs to do better for all the 50 and younger residents of Oak Bay and get their orders in now. These vehicles take a year to receive. Get on with it, get your requirements together and find a vehicle that will do the job. We have no time to wait. The police board needs to evolve. Come on, help us all out, make the change and do your job.

Phil Makin

Oak Bay

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