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Police Fleet Due For Upgrade

POSTED December 11, 2012 10:42 p.m.

With the assistance of a recently obtained $100,000 grant, the Oakdale Police Department will be purchasing a new police motorcycle and patrol car to replace vehicles in its aging fleet.

Police Chief Lester Jenkins announced that over half of the department’s patrol cars have over 100,000 miles on their odometer and only one patrol car has less than 50,000 miles.

“When the mileage gets that high, repair costs start to accumulate,” said Jenkins. “There are other concerns too, like safety of the officers driving vehicles with that much wear.”

Jenkins said the decision to purchase a new 2011 Crown Victoria was made over other different police package models such as the 2012 Dodge Charger or 2012 Chevrolet Caprice because of the associated costs with transferring and outfitting equipment. The department has been using the Ford Crown Victoria as a standard patrol car for several years and much of the existing equipment in the retiring patrol car will fit the newer vehicle.

In April 2011, Ford dealers stopped accepting new orders for the Crown Victoria instead offering a police package front wheel drive Ford Taurus. By the end of December 2011, manufacturing of the Crown Victoria stopped altogether.

Ford held a near-monopoly on the market for police package vehicles for over a decade because its size, handling, and rear-wheel drive design were advantageous for police use. The vehicle is known for its ability to avoid spin-outs during hard maneuvers compared to front-wheel drive rivals and is better equipped to withstand rough driving over curbs and other obstacles that are called for daily in the suburban environment such as Oakdale.

Jenkins and his staff solicited bids and were able to locate a Crown Victoria in the all-white color through Haidlen Ford for $23,452. Jenkins noted that there were others available outside of the city for a slightly lesser cost but those were in the black-and-white color scheme and would have needed to be repainted at an additional cost.

“The one from Haidlen is immediately available for outfitting without any delay,” said Jenkins.

The department also intends to buy a new 2013 Harley-Davidson to replace two existing Honda motorcycles. The motorcycle would be used by the traffic unit for enforcement and other traffic-related duties.

The motorcycle will be purchased at Mitchell’s Modesto Harley-Davidson for $18,427.

According to Jenkins, the retiring car and motorcycles will be sold by the city.

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