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Damon Hammis
New member
Username: Dhammis

Post Number: 19
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 11:09 am:   

I'm curious as to the choice of vehicles for the city and police in Frisco. With gas being so expensive and the high number of miles driven is there any reason why the building inspectors, code enforcement, etc vehicles are trucks and why the police are driving gigantic SUVs? Obviously in the case of the police they need to have a vehicle capable of higher speeds for chasing suspects and for transporting suspects, but since the majority of the driving is in town patrols couldn't the city stand to save a fair amount of money by driving vehicles that are more fuel efficient but still allow the police to do their jobs? How many miles get put on a city or police vehicle before it's retired? What is the city's current budget and cost for fuel and maintenance for the city and police vehicles?

This isn't intended to come across as rude or snide, it's just a curiosity since I know that the economy is struggling at the moment.

Thank you for your time.

Todd Renshaw, Chief of Police
Username: Todd

Post Number: 466
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 07:58 am:   

Below is a letter I wrote to a concerned citizen regardnig your very topic. It is followed by an article out of the Plano Star Courier.
Fuel for patrol is budgeted at 200k per year and 35k for tires. The city has its own maintenance shop, so I don't have a budget line for that.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the issues regarding our use of Chevrolet Tahoe’s. We believe that it is very important for our officers to drive vehicles that are safe and specifically designed for the rigors of police use. There are very few cars on the market that are specifically designed for police “pursuit” use. We have in the past utilized Ford Crown Victoria’s and Chevrolet Impalas, and while both have their place, neither has performed as well as the use of Tahoe’s.

The Tahoe’s are purchased for about $29,000 in comparison to $22,000 for a Crown Vic. The Tahoe is expected to be used for a 200,000 mile patrol life in comparison to only the 90,000 to 100,000 miles for the Ford. The resale value of the Tahoe will be greater than that of the Ford when its mileage surpasses our limits. We think, in a purely economical sense, the purchase of Tahoe’s is sound.

The gas mileages for a Crown Vic versus a Tahoe are comparable. In fact the Tahoe’s are equipped with motors that deactivate 4 cylinders when the demand for horsepower does not require all 8 cylinders firing. Both vehicles are expected to get around 12 mpg.

The Tahoe’s offer more interior room for officers and equipment. Since our officers drive these vehicles 12 hours a day, we do take their comfort into consideration. With the amount of electronic equipment growing in police vehicles, the importance of keeping the equipment cool while in operation is important. The placement of electronics in a trunk is very hard on the equipment.

I’ve have read numerous articles from police fleet managers regarding the police use of Tahoes and all have been very complimentary of the vehicle.

We are always looking for ways to reduce mileage and fuel/oil consumption. Currently, we are looking at the frequency of oil changes and how we might use the on-board computer of the Tahoe to tell us when the oil needs to be changed instead of just doing it every 3,000 miles.

We understand the concern some citizen’s share and would be happy to discuss this issue with them. I invite you to come to the police department and look at both types of vehicles and also read some of the police journal articles that we have. I have attached, below, an article that came out last week regarding Plano’s decision to move to the SUV as well.

Todd Renshaw

Chief of Police

Plano Star Courier

By Josh Hixson, Staff Writer

(Created: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 11:08 PM CDT)

Christmas came early this year for the Plano Police Department.

Wednesday, they received the first of 33 Chevrolet Tahoes purchased for patrol use by the city in December for approximately $1.03 million.

Police officials say the decision to transition to the SUVs from the current Ford Crown Victorias brings two big advantages: extra space for the driver and climate controlled trunk space that won’t overheat computer equipment.

Sgt. Brad Neal, Plano police technology liaison, said temperatures in the trunk of a Crown Victoria reached well above 140 degrees, causing computer failures.

“We had some overheating issues,” Neal said. “It was way beyond 140 degrees in the trunk. But not in the Tahoe.”

Comfort also plays a vital role because most of a patrol officer’s time is spent behind the wheel, Neal said. “This is the patrol officer’s office,” Neal said. “There are some guys that are 6-4, 280. We actually have some former football players and it is hard for them to get crammed in a Crown Victoria.”

Patrol Officer Willard Marshall got a chance to sit behind the wheel of the Tahoe Wednesday and said the vehicle is head and shoulders above his current ride.

“I have been doing police work for 18 years and throughout my entire career I have been crammed in a car,” Marhsall said. “My first impression is that I am excited to have the room. That is the big deal with me, to have some room to be comfortable and perform my job.”

Police say prisoners will also have an easier time getting into the back of the vehicle.

City officials expect the Tahoes to have similar gas mileage to that of the Crown Victorias.

The fleet won’t be overhauled entirely at once. Current models will be phased out once they accumulate 90,000 miles.

After taking it for a test drive, Neal said the Tahoes larger presence has other drivers paying more attention, and even slowing down sooner.

“One of our goals is to be visible in the community,” Neal said. “I think the (Tahoe) is very visible”

Other advantages include an increased re-sale value and higher chassis which will keep vehicles from bottoming out, police said.

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