Seven new police cars purchased

FLINT TWP. — The Township Board has authorized the purchase of seven new vehicles for the Police Department at a total cost of $226,848.

Purchasing the four patrol cars and three administrative vehicles is included in the 2016 budget, said Police Chief George Sippert.

Four 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Patrol Vehicles will be purchased at $37,727 each for a total cost of $150,908. Two of them will replace older patrol vehicles that will be retired and sold at auction, Chief Sippert said.

The other two new Tahoes are needed because the size of the police force is increasing and more cars are needed due to the public safety millage passed in November 2014.

The cars are being purchased through the Oakland County Michigan bid process which provides lower prices through collective bargaining. For municipalities, purchasing new vehicles through established bid processes remains the best option, Chief Sippert said. The State of Michigan and major County Governmental Units within Michigan obtain the best prices available from various manufacturers.

Chief Sippert’s recommendation is to continue buying the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Police Package which is “pursuit rated,” making it acceptable for police patrol work.

“With our recent harsh winters and overall deterioration of our road surfaces, it has become apparent that the all-wheel drive police vehicles out-perform the two wheel drive vehicles,” Chief Sippert said. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD police vehicles purchased last year by the department have proven to be dependable fleet vehicles. Patrol officers are reporting better visibility of traffic and better handling in winter driving conditions, he said.

Chief Sippert said his request to buy three new administrative vehicles to the annual purchase of replacement vehicles is somewhat unusual because they are not purchased as often.

Investigative/administrative vehicles are not driven in the same manner as patrol cars, so their service life is much longer, he said.

He recommended buying one 2016 Dodge Charger for $25,198 through the State of Michigan bid process and two 2016 Chevrolet Impalas for $25,371 each through the Oakland County bid process, for a total cost of $75,940.

He did not provide information about the age or mileage of the cars being replaced. He did say that older high mileage vehicles tend to incur higher maintenance costs.

He added that funds obtained from selling the old cars at auction will be returned to the township’s general fund, not the police department.

It could take about 10 months before the new cars are put into service. After purchase, they have to be equipped as police cars. Service providers have been running into backlogs due to heavy workloads, Chief Sippert said.

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