San Francisco Police chief wants top brass to start saving gas 

San Francisco’s new top cop is trading in the gas-guzzling SUVs and Crown Victorias driven by the department’s command staff for more environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles.

Police Chief Greg Suhr himself will be driving around The City in a Ford Fusion Hybrid, the very same car Mayor Ed Lee switched to after being selected interim mayor.

Suhr told his command staff about the changes Wednesday, although it is unclear how the department will pay for the new vehicles. In the end, however, the gas mileage will help save the department money, according to police Lt. Troy Dangerfield.

A 2010 Crown Victoria gets a combined gas mileage of between 14 and 19 miles, depending on the engine, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 39 miles to the gallon, combined city and highway.

“Gas is expensive and we have to pay for it too,” Dangerfield said.

The change is the latest symbolic gesture by Suhr since being sworn in as chief on April 27. One of his first acts as chief was to keep the door separating his office from the public open.

Suhr also volunteered to forego a scheduled $20,000 pay raise, and he eliminated three assistant chief positions in the department, a move that is expected to save the department at least another $60,000.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Brent Begin

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