FLINT TWP. — Two vehicles are being added to the police fleet including one to transport Gunnar the police dog and his handler.
The township board approved the purchases of a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle for canine patrol and a pre-owned 2013 Chevrolet Impala for Detective Bureau use.
The Tahoe’s purchase price of $32,997 will be paid for with drug forfeiture funds and the Impala’s $15,000 cost is mostly covered by an insurance reimbursement, according to the purchase request from Police Chief George Sippert.
The Tahoe will be equipped to carry one prisoner separated from the dog. “The Chevrolet Tahoe PPV is a vehicle that we have experienced great success with over the years,” Chief Sippert said.
“We currently have a Tahoe in our fleet and they have shown to be durable and dependable.”
The vehicle is commonly used around the country as a canine vehicle, he said.
The Tahoe replaces the current canine vehicle – a 2010 Dodge Charger — with more than 97,000 miles on the odometer that is past its service life and has recently had several breakdowns resulting in costly repairs, he said.
The purchase also includes $12,038 to outfit the vehicle for canine patrol use. Some equipment from the current canine unit will be transferred.
The Chevrolet Impala is needed to replace a 2009 Ford Taurus (an unmarked vehicle used by detectives) that was totaled in an accident in September.
The insurance company rated the car a total loss and reimbursed the department $11,330. The remaining $3,700 costs is available in the police budget, Chief Sippert said.
After seeking price quotes at two township dealerships, the department settled on the Impala sold by Patsy Lou Chevrolet with 49,000 miles on it.
“It will be used by our detectives in the performance of their duties,” Chief Sippert said. It seats four adults comfortably, has a trunk large enough to hold necessary equipment, can be used as a surveillance car.
Drug forfeiture funds can be used to buy police cars and other drug enforcement equipment but cannot be used to hire additional officers.