The Washington City Council approved the purchase of two new SUVs for the police department.
The council voted 7-0 to purchase two 2018 Ford Interceptor utility vehicles, fully “up-fitted” for road patrol.
The vehicles are being purchased from Lou Fusz Ford for a total of $82,914.20. That includes the vehicle cost of $29,863 each, and the equipment up-fitting at the cost of $11,594.10 each, according to Police Chief Ed Menefee.
The police department also received bids from Joe Machens Ford, but the bids did not include equipment up-fitting. Auffenberg Ford, Washington, was contacted for a bid but could not meet the price of the state contract bid.
The council also approved the purchase of two Watch Guard 4RE/Vista in-car cameras totaling $10,740.00.
Total cost of the up-fitted cars and cameras is $93,654.20, which is under the budgeted amount of $100,000.
According to information provided by Menefee, patrol cars are replaced about every five years. Replacing the equipment with the vehicle ensures equipment in use is state of the art. With the advances regularly made in electronics, the equipment in a patrol car is considered out of date after about five years.
By using the same matching brand equipment used for years, officers are already familiar in the use of the equipment, Menefee added.
Councilman Steve Sullentrup said there had been discussions about keeping all city vehicles longer to save funds.
City Administrator Darren Lamb noted that city staff is exploring its vehicle replacement policy.