CHICAGO - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the City of Chicago will be purchasing 500 Police Interceptor vehicles from Ford Motor Company over the next five years. Emanuel was welcomed by Plant Manager, Jan Allman and the local Ford Police Interceptor Vehicle Launch team at the Chicago Assembly Plant before making this announcement to the public. Chicago Assembly Plant is the only Ford plant that manufactures the Police Interceptor sedans and SUVs.
The City of Chicago order is the largest order Ford has received to date for these new vehicles. Previously, more than 40 orders from Illinois state and local government had been placed. Emanuel said that the police department would determine the number of SUVs versus sedans purchased and emphasized that given Chicago’s snowy winters, any SUVs purchased would have four-wheel drive.
Emanuel was excited to support Ford’s efforts to put jobs into the City of Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods. He touted, “It will now be on our streets protecting our residents, protecting our Police Department. This is a win for the taxpayers, a win for the workers, a win for the community on the South Side of Chicago that produces it.”
The mayor’s announcement was followed by a tour of the plant floor during which he met many of the UAW-Ford men and women who build the Police Interceptors.
Police Interceptor vehicle began production in January of this year and added 230 jobs to the Torrence Avenue plant with additional manufacturing and support jobs expected in the future. “The mayor’s visit really helps with our morale, to see the City of Chicago supporting the vehicles we make at Chicago Assembly Plant,” said Pre-Delivery Assembly Line Driver, Heather Hart-Butler said. “This large order from the city is exciting because it helps open up more job opportunities for Ford employees with seniority as well as the new hires that are joining our plant as we transition to a 3rd Shift (or C-Crew).
Hopefully, the City of Chicago’s purchase will help Ford get more orders from other police agencies,” said Hart-Butler who has worked for Ford for 18 years. The mayor shook the hands and exchanged laughs with the Pre-Delivery assembly workers as he thanked them for their efforts and commitment to producing a quality vehicle.
Mayor Emanuel was given a first-hand run down of the Police Interceptor capabilities, styling, and features from Allman. He also was presented with a Local UAW 551/Chicago Assembly Plant engraved baseball bat that employees received at their baseball game summer outing.
The first order of 100 vehicles will hit the streets of Chicago by the end of this year.