Imagine just how much wear and tear your vehicle would suffer if it was driven almost nonstop every single day of the week. Now ask yourself about how much you would be out of pocket in maintenance expenses trying to keep that car in operation.
Luckily most folks don’t have to worry about such a thing, but every few years law enforcement administrators find themselves having to replace many police cruisers that suffer damage from being on the road 24 hours a day.
Recognizing the need to retire some units in an aging fleet of police cruisers, the West Point Police Department made a purchase this week of three, low-mileage Ford Crown Victorias purchased from Vinita, Okla.
West Point Chief of Police Tim Brinkley said each cruiser has less than 30,000 miles on them and cost about half as much as the cost of new units. The WPPD will now retire the three oldest patrol units in the fleet, and during the upcoming budget cycle the WPPD plans to purchase about four more patrol units to replace those that have well over 130,000 miles on them.
Brinkley said the WPPD researched many companies before deciding upon the units that came from various state agencies. Several weeks ago he and another city official made a trip to Joe Watt Police Cars in Oklahoma in a search for used patrol units that were in good condition.
“We were excited when we looked at the conditions of the cars and the amount of vehicles in inventory,” Brinkley said. “We were especially surprised that so many of them have such low mileage. We toured the facility, we drove lots of cars, we talked to staff, we interviewed some of the mechanics and then we identified several police vehicle that we thought would suit our needs very well.”
The units that were selected arrived Wednesday to the WPPD and will be outfitted soon and ready for the road.
Brinkley said the WPPD and the city explored a lease purchase agreement but made the decision to pay for the vehicles outright. The department was paying about $40,000 in maintenance to keep the current fleet of cruisers, which includes some 2005 models, on the streets. The savings to the city through the purchase of used vehicles is around $50,000.
“This is not going to be everything we need to outfit our fleet, but it’s a good start,” he said.
Equipment, such as radios, that are already in the current cruisers will be installed in the new units temporarily until the next budget term, during which time the WPPD expects to purchase new equipment for all units.