Chargers are popular among the police force. In fact, Dodge offers a fleet option for the fast sedan, known as the Charger Pursuit, for $32,020 a piece (or higher, depending on the options). Cops seem to love it and that’s completely understandable; it’s equipped with 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. So much so, that California ordered 580 units of Charger Pursuits back in 2016.
However, the fascination of law enforcement agencies with Chargers should end with the Pursuit fleet only – at least that’s what the U.S. Department of Justice thinks, as it puts a Georgia police department in hot water over the purchase of the evil version of the muscle sedan: the Charger SRT Hellcat.
Aside from the Hellcat having a more powerful 707-hp engine, it costs more than twice as much as well – $69,258 to be exact. This prompted the federal agency to ask the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office to return the money it used to buy the high-performance sedan, as it’s deemed as an “extravagant expenditure.” The money used to buy the Hellcat was from seized assets, which should be treated like taxpayers’ money.
The Hellcat is being used as Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway’s official car and to promote the department’s “Beat the Heat” program, which are nonprofit drag races meant to “educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and illegal street racing."
In a report by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gwinnett officials said that they will comply with DOJ’s reimbursement request this week. However, Sheriff Conway stands firm with the Hellcat’s purchase.
“Sheriff Conway maintains that this vehicle is an appropriate purchase, especially for an agency with a $92 million budget and the opportunity this vehicle provides in making our roadways safer,” said sheriff's office spokesperson Deputy Shannon Volkodav.