Cost of new police cars tops quarter million

FLINT TWP. — In February, the township board approved the purchase of six new police vehicles at a cost of $198,336.

At its May18 meeting, the board approved spending $83,886 to cover changeover costs of emergency equipment for them, which brings the total cost of the new wheels to about $282,222.

Police Chief George Sippert explained that six new Chevrolet Tahoes purchased in February will replace four worn out Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles that are being retired from service.

The “build-up” cost to equip the new cars is budgeted for, Chief Sippert said.

He added that department purchasing officer did shop around for the best possible price without sacrificing quality.

“Lt. James Baldwin, who acts as our current police fleet manager, explored the possibility of using other vendors in the area who provide police buildup services,” he said.

“His efforts included site visits and speaking with current and past customers of Arrowhead Public Safety Equipment in Lapeer and Great Lakes Emergency Products/ Services in Linden.”

Ultimately, the decision was made to award the contract to Cruisers Corporation in Brighton, which has worked with the department since 2008 to outfit and maintain police vehicles.

“We are familiar with Cruisers and have been pleased with their work in both the area of police car builds as well as service,” Chief Sippert said.

He added that Cruisers is also the authorized vendor in Michigan for L3 — the audio/video system used in patrol cars.

Where possible, Cruisers will transfer equipment in the Crown Vics to outfit the Tahoes, he said. Cruisers quote for the project comes to $70,428.

But it is also necessary to purchase from outside vendors some equipment for two of the Tahoes that will not be transferred from old patrol cars. That includes a Digital Video System, rear seat cameras and software quoted at a cost of $10,380 to be purchased from L3 Mobile-Vision Inc. Also custom signal and radar speed measuring devices will be purchased through a State of Michigan Contract for $3,078. That brings the total project expense to just under $84,000.

The six Tahoes were purchased through a governmental bid process at a cost of $33,056 each. They are fourwheel drive “pursuit-rated” vehicles.

Chief Sippert said previously that the retired Crown Vics will be sold via an online auction and proceeds returned to the township’s general fund. He estimated the resale value of the Crown Vics at $2,000 to $4000 each.

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