CENTERVILLE -- The city is preparing to upgrade its fleet of police cars by adding four new vehicles next year, and it is adding a new model of patrol car that is expected to be built to suit the demands of police work.
City Manager Steve Thacker said this is part of the city's standard replacement plan in which four cars are replaced each year. The city rotates through its fleet of cars to ensure that all are running at top quality.
However, he said, this year the police department is having to veer from its traditionally used patrol car to purchase a new style.
The traditional vehicle purchased is the Ford Crown Victoria, but it is no longer being made. That's why the city is switching to the Taurus Interceptor, which is just beginning production next year.
For many years, Ford has produced the standard in police cars with the Crown Victoria, according to city staff documentation. However, it is replacing this car with a new police Interceptor, specifically designed for the "rigors and demands of police services."
Thacker explained it is "purpose built" after numerous police experts were consulted.
"This version is made for police officers," he said. "It is more heavy duty."
An added bonus is that the vehicles are designed to allow equipment to be reinstalled, thus saving police departments' money. This vehicle is touted to also have better handling, quicker responses and improved gas mileage.
The three vehicles to be used as patrol cars need to be ordered as production begins in January with the product being delivered in spring 2012.
These three vehicles will cost $79,105, which reflects the government discount price. The city will not pay for the three vehicles until they are delivered.
Also, with the purchase, the city is adding a fourth vehicle to be used by a detective. That vehicle is immediately available from the dealer.
The bid from Wiley Ford for the 2011 Taurus was $21,392, includes a $3,400 government discount price and is comparable to the state bid, according to staff documents.
The remaining budget of the $113,000 allotted will be used to pay for transferring equipment from the old cars to the new ones.