Peachtree City police will be getting nine new patrol cars with a different badge on the front.
The department is shifting from the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria to the newer Chevrolet Caprice patrol vehicle. While the Chevy Caprice has gotten great reviews from the law enforcement academic community, there was also the matter of questions surrounding the availability of Ford’s replacement for the Crown Vic, a staple of police work for several decades.
The Peachtree City Council also agreed Thursday night to trade-in 17 older Crown Victoria police vehicles.
The city will pay about $445,000 for the nine new Chevrolets including all equipment, but the aftermarket accessories will be added after the vehicles are delivered to the city.
Of the 17 cars being traded in, nine are being removed from the fleet because they are in poor repair and another eight were “acquired through the merging of departments, loss of position, and/or retained for use during the handling of a large paint recall from Ford.”
All but three of the trade-in vehicles have eclipsed the standard 100,000 mile mark that is deemed to be the useful lifespan for vehicles capable of being driven safely at high speeds for emergency responders.
Councilman Eric Imker noted that the city could change its policy of replacing those vehicles when they reach the 100,000 mile mark, perhaps changing it to $125,000 to save money for the city.
Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark noted that since patrol cars idle a significant amount of time, the engines may not be racking up “miles” although they are experiencing wear and tear.
The vehicle purchases give the police department a total of 89 vehicles with approximately 50 being used in the patrol fleet for emergency response. Others are used as reserve units for when a car is being repaired, and also for the auxiliary and reserve officers in addition to code enforcement, Clark said.
Imker noted that the 17 cars being traded in are of note because the city will need to continue to take such actions to trim expenses. Imker said other departments should be looking to do the same: cut unnecessary vehicle inventory to shrink costs.
In other capital decisions, council voted to purchase three new dump trucks and two new dump truck chassis, with that figure being a cost reduced by the trade-in of three existing models.
The city is financing the dump truck purchases totaling $239,779 through its capital lease program.