The Mason Police Department will be able to save taxpayers $4,000 on the purchase of a new police vehicle after a unanimous City Council vote Monday.
A 2011 Ford Crown Victoria was purchased at $21,854 dollars and will replace an old Chevy Impala according to Mason Police Chief John Stressman. A new 2012 model would have started at $26,000 dollars but the department was able to purchase the vehicle at last year’s price saving about $4,000 dollars.
Budget cuts are a concern for the department so the savings were a major benefit when the motor pool manager found the new vehicle on the lot that another department had not picked up.
Police vehicles have to be managed properly in order to be safe and effective and the original vehicle, an Impala similar to the one pictured below, had to be replaced after it had racked up over 100,000 miles.
“It gets to a point where it costs more to keep it on the road then it does to replace it,” Stressman said.
The cars are purchased using money from a general fund through the motor pool and acquired from a subcontractor. The fleet is managed by the motor pool that handles everything from the cost of gasoline to periodic maintenance.
“The only thing we have to concern ourselves with is that the police car meets all of our requirements before it goes out at the beginning of the shift,” Stressman said.
Additional costs were incurred because the car had to be updated to the police safety standards. Equipment such as video surveillance cameras and emergency equipment are vital to the function of the vehicle and if they are not up to standard, the police car has to be taken out of service, according to Stressman.
According to Jann Lifsey, the police chief’s secretary who has worked for the police department for over 30 years, the police department used to replace at least one car every year but is not able to do so anymore because of budget cuts.
Lifsey said, “The reason they ordered the Ford is because it was already on the lot and it was the right color so it saves tax payers money because we didn’t have to order it special.”