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Commissioners Want Eleven New Police Cars

The more than $370,000 that would be needed to buy the new vehicles and convert them to police work would come from capital reserves.

The is expected to vote to approve the purchase of eleven new vehicles for the during their Tuesday morning meeting.

This is the first major vehicle buying proposal since the economy entered its downturn; in healthier financial times, the county would replace old and maintenance-heavy vehicles yearly. For the past four years, Cobb's police cars have had to soldier on with limited circulation of new vehicles.

A typical police car is driven 96,000 miles a year, according to the county's public meeting agenda. Without the influx of new vehicles seen in previous years, maintenance costs are increasing and hurting the resale value of the older fleet vehicles.

Fifty vehicles have been replaced by alternate means this year, but a further eleven need to be exchanged for brand new Chevrolet Caprices. Unfortunately, the equipment in the old Ford Crown Victorias is incompatible with the new Caprices. The purchasing and refitting of the Chevrolets for police purposes will cost around $70,000 alone.

Not only will the new cars improve the strength of the police fleet, but add to the positive environmental changes the county is striving for. The newer vehicles are more fuel-efficient and less damaging to the environment. The new vehicles also have advanced safety features not available on the older models.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. on the second floor of in Marietta. The meeting will be available on Channel 23 and streamed online.

Jason September 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM
This has to be one of the laziest and uncritical pieces of reporting I've seen recently. Let's take it point for point: "This is the first major vehicle buying proposal since the economy entered its downturn; in healthier financial times, the county would replace old and maintenance-heavy vehicles yearly. For the past four years, Cobb's police cars have had to soldier on with limited circulation of new vehicles." First of all, what constitutes an "old and maintenance-heavy vehicle"? An engaged reporter would have asked about the calculation that goes into that determination. We are in financially hard times and all of us have had to 'soldier on' with the vehicles we have because we cannot afford new ones. "A typical police car is driven 96,000 miles a year, according to the county's public meeting agenda. Without the influx of new vehicles seen in previous years, maintenance costs are increasing and hurting the resale value of the older fleet vehicles." Again, an engaged reporter would have asked how much the resale value of a police car figures into the calculations to replace them. There isn't much of a market for used police vehicles (unless you a member of the Blues Brothers), so why not drive them until they drop?
Jason September 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM
So what are those 'alternate means'? If they've been able to replace 50 of the 61 of the fleet alternately, why do they have to spend three quarters of a million dollars to replace the other eleven? Have they explored switching to the Dodge police car (which is being used by many law enforcement agencies) as opposed to the Caprice? If police cars are driven an average of 96,000 miles a year, that would point to a two year replacement cycle. Is that mileage necessary? Would improving efficiency on the force lead to fewer budgetary needs? I realize Ford has discontinued production of the Crown Victoria, but is the Caprice the best choice for the future? $70,000 per vehicle seems really high to me. Was this competitively bid? "Not only will the new cars improve the strength of the police fleet, but add to the positive environmental changes the county is striving for. The newer vehicles are more fuel-efficient and less damaging to the environment. The new vehicles also have advanced safety features not available on the older models." First of all, the environmental impact of 61 police cars is pretty much irrelevant, despite how good it might make us feel about ourselves. I'm also pretty sure that vehicular safety didn't enter into the calculation of the value of the new vehicles (not that we want our officers to be less safe). Where did fuel efficiency enter into the equation to replace the vehicles?
Jason September 11, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Instead of regurgitating press releases verbatim and embellishing them with "feel good" platitudes about environmental impact, an engaged reporter would have seen many questions to be answered before taxpayer funds are allocated without discussion. I'm a strong advocate for our law enforcement officers and public safety is one of the basic duties of government. However, cost-benefit analyses should be in the foundation of any government expenditure. We are all paying for these expenses and have an obligation to question their need. An engaged reporter would have these questions immediately raised in their minds.
Brad September 11, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Jason, this is the East Cobb Patch, not the NYT, The Economist, or the AJC. Seriously, what do you expect? I'm thankful to even get a story updating me on this.

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