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The final Crown Vic RCMP vehicle in service in the Okanagan has been retired, leaving behind many fond memories.
The vehicle was officially retired this past August and was a symbol of law enforcement in the country for decades.
“One of the most distinguished symbols of the RCMP in the Okanagan was the Ford Crown Victoria, or Crown 'Vic] police car,” states an RCMP news release.
The final Crown Vic in the Okanagan was driven by Constable Sherri Lund, a West Kelowna RCMP school resource officer.
“My colleagues would always take time to come up and talk to me about their favourite Crown Vic memories, or talk about what a great car it is,” said Lund.
“Because I had been the primary driver of it here in West Kelowna, and my relationship with the schools, the students all knew it was me behind the wheel so I would often get a wave or a hello.”
The vehicle became the police car of choice from 1997-2013, but with its production ending in 2011, It has slowly been phased out for SUVs.
“The vehicle is still in excellent shape and the engine would roar to life when I touched the gas pedal,” explained Lund.
“The only problem with it was it couldn’t idle with the air conditioning on and maintain its engine temperature.”
Lund had been the vehicle's primary driver since it arrived in West Kelowna 11 years ago. It was designed for the school resource officer position and did not see the usual wear and tear of a police vehicle.
“It was a strange feeling driving it for the final time … There was definitely some sadness when I finally had to say goodbye,” said Lund.
Lund has now been driving an SUV since August, and things are just not the same.
“I’m now mainly driving an SUV, the Ford Explorer, and I have to say, they sure don’t have the power and the ability to hug the road like the Crown Vic,” explained Lund.
“I never had any concern about how fast I took a curve while in that car (the Crown Vic).”
Lund was not the only officer that had a soft spot for the vehicle, as many others share the same feelings.
“The significance of the Crown Vic to a police officer is one most people won’t understand,” added an RCMP news release.
“To most outside a police force, it just looks like an old car, but truly it’s a part of RCMP lore and will not be soon forgotten.”