Eastern Wake News

Knightdale recognized for green police cars

Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps (center), Public Works Staff, from left, Reed Alexander, Larry Johnson and Steve Blair with the NCDOT Recognition Certificate that honors Knightdale for using propane-fueled police cars.
Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps (center), Public Works Staff, from left, Reed Alexander, Larry Johnson and Steve Blair with the NCDOT Recognition Certificate that honors Knightdale for using propane-fueled police cars.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and alternative energy organizations recognized Knightdale last month for its use of propane instead of petroleum gas in 10 of its police vehicles.

The recognition makes Knightdale a “Smart Fleet” community, a designation created by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.

NCDOT assists in identifying and honoring communities, businesses and people that lead the way to reduced transportation-related emissions, said NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott.

The organizations recognized nine other Triangle communities for similar efforts. In Wake County, Apex and Cary were also recognized.

Knightdale’s move to propane-fueled vehicles started in 2011 with the help of a Carolina Blue Skies grant from the Triangle J Council of Governments. The grant program supports projects that aim to reduce dependency on petroleum.

The town paid out about $3,000 for infrastructure costs associated with the project.

The project equipped 11 police vehicles with equipment to switch between running off gasoline and propane. Propane creates fewer damaging emissions than gasoline and is generally cheaper.

Up until this point, propane was about two dollars cheaper per gallon than gasoline and in three years, has saved Knightdale Police about $37,500, a town release said.

Eight of the original 11 vehicles are still in use in Knightdale.

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