Aging Police Fleets Need Special Budget Allocation

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Sourced From: The Daily Press, Newport News

The Crit­i­cal Sit­u­a­tion with the New­port News Police Fleet:

Cur­rent­ly, 79 of the police department’s 280 marked vehi­cles, or 28 per­cent, are nine or more years old. At the cur­rent fund­ing lev­els that will increase to 103, or about 37 per­cent of the fleet’s total.
There are short-term sav­ings to be found in delay­ing new vehi­cle pur­chas­es but the trade-off is high­er main­te­nance cost and more over­time for the city’s 22 mechan­ics. And, of course, even­tu­al­ly those old­er and old­er cars in a city’s fleet still have to be replaced.

Although there’s a cer­tain degree of famil­iar­i­ty, even fond­ness, for No. 2615, a 15 year old 1999 Crown Vic­to­ria, at the garage, the vehi­cle department’s offi­cials say that if the city doesn’t invest more mon­ey in replace­ment, the per­cent­age of units in the 1,506-vehicle fleet that are off the road and in their shop will start to climb dra­mat­i­cal­ly.

City man­agers are posi­tion­ing the prob­lem with their gov­ern­ing offi­cials by acknowl­edg­ing the that there are short term sav­ings in delay­ing new vehi­cle pur­chas­es but that the trade-off is high­er main­te­nance costs and more over­time for mechan­ics who are keep­ing the old vehi­cles work­ing until they can be replaced.

It’s a pay me now (or) pay me lat­er propo­si­tion in the fleet world,” said Chris Per­ry, fleet sup­port spe­cial­ist at the Vehi­cle and Equip­ment Ser­vices Depart­ment.

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