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The University Police Department gets CSUMB's first all-electric vehicle.

CSU Monterey Bay’s Police Department has joined a growing number of law enforcement agencies parking Nissan Leafs next to their Crown Victorias as they go green.

It reflects an international trend – dozens of police departments including several in the United Kingdom, New York City and Abu Dhabi have adopted the fuel-efficient vehicles for various uses.

“We traded in a big gas-guzzling Jeep Cherokee for the Leaf,” Police Chief Earl Lawson said. “We wanted a smaller, more efficient, more environmentally friendly vehicle.” It’s the first all-electric vehicle in the university’s fleet.

Chief Lawson was quick to point out that the Leaf will be used by civilian employees of the department. The Leaf, and two Ford C-Max hybrids the department owns, aren’t suitable for use as patrol cars, but are perfect for other UPD needs, he said.

Commander John Short worked on a grant from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District that helped to pay for the Leaf. It will be plugged in at the back of the police station until a charging station can be installed.