FLINT TWP. — Where the police departments buys patrol cars has been cause for concern for some township board members in the past, but the latest purchase passed the buy local test.
The township board unanimously approved the purchase of four new 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe four-wheel-drive police vehicles from Hank Graff Chevrolet in Davison.
Police cars are usually bought through a State of Michigan group bid process which in past years has resulted in purchases from dealers on the western side of the state.
“This year we got the best deal through a Genesee County bid process,” said Police George Sippert, in his request for purchase approval.
In the past two years, the department has purchased 2015 and 2016 model year Tahoes that “have shown to be dependable vehicles in our fleet,” Chief Sippert said. “Our patrol officers have noticed better visibility of traffic and better handling in winter driving conditions.”
“With our recent harsh winters and overall deterioration of our roadways, it has become apparent that the all-wheel drive police vehicles outperform two-wheel drive vehicles.”
Prices have come down on the 2017 Tahoe model year. The 2017 vehicles are priced at $34,672.81 each compared to four 2016 models bought last year for $37,727 each through the Oakland County bid process.
This year’s total vehicle cost is $138,691 and is included in the 2017 police department budget. It will cost an additional $35,889 to have the new cars outfitted by Cruisers Corporation in Brighton, which has provided that service to the department since 2008. Cruisers will use as much equipment as possible from vehicles that are being taken out of service. That includes such equipment as a radar unit, radio, Dell Laptop and docking station, printer, card reader, GPS Wi FI antenna, LED light bands, video system, storage boxes and weapons mount. The 2017vehicles will replace older Chevy Tahoes and Ford Interceptors that are being retired due to high mileage and maintenance costs., Chief Sippert said. The new vehicles will be fully marked, pursuit-rated patrol vehicles. The total cost including outfitting is nearly $175,000.