At the Tuscarora Township Council meeting Tuesday night, Police Chief Gordon Temple spoke to council about his urgent need for new patrol vehicles and asked for potential help with the purchase.

Temple did extensive research looking for new patrol vehicles for his department, but didn’t have much luck.

“I got tipped on a few possible patrol cars,” Temple said. “These are 2022 Chevy Tahoes. They are classified as police pursuit.”

The patrol vehicles will arrive at a car dealership in Grand Rapids in June. Temple spoke with one of the dealer’s sales representatives, who had ordered their quota of police patrol vehicles and already sold three of the SUVs. Three of the vehicles remained.

“He said he was going to give me a quote. That was last week and I still haven’t heard back from him and I emailed him again today,” Temple said. . “But we’re really, really desperate for a new patrol car.”

The current fleet of Tuscarora Township Police Department vehicles consists almost entirely of Dodge Charger police interceptors.  The main patrol vehicle has covered over 175,000 miles and needs to be replaced, like most other vehicles in the fleet.

Typically, most law enforcement agencies, including the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department, begin looking to replace a vehicle when it’s over 100,000 miles. It is around this point that vehicle maintenance begins to increase and it becomes more expensive to keep the vehicle in the fleet.

Continued:Vehicle Shortages Affecting Northern Michigan

The primary patrol vehicle currently in use by the Tuscarora Township Police Department has traveled 178,000 miles. The department also has several other vehicles with similar miles, including its Ford Expedition and the patrol vehicle used by the school’s resource officer.

Temple said that with mileage continuing to increase on the vehicles, his fleet maintenance bill will begin to eat into the funding provided for the purchase of the new patrol vehicles.

Temple asked township board members if — once he was able to get quotes for new patrol vehicles — it was possible to use some of the township’s American Rescue Plan Act funding. to buy a vehicle.

“Just a suggestion, maybe something to discuss,” Temple said. “Or if anyone has connections. I don’t even care at this point what kind of patrol vehicle it is. I don’t care if it’s a Ford, Dodge, Chevy. If we don’t don’t find something soon, we’ll be pedaling down the road on our bikes.”

If Temple were to receive quotes that were within the price range of the financing it budgeted for the vehicles, it would still have to come back to the township council for purchase approval, or before making a final decision. .

The only current non-loader police vehicle in the Tuscarora Township Police Department fleet is a Ford Expedition.

The Chevy Tahoes Temple has a lead over in Grand Rapids are significantly more expensive than the Dodge Charger sedans the department currently has in its fleet. The amount for patrol vehicles was for the smaller vehicles.

“So originally I was asking for two patrol cars,” Temple said. “It could actually consume the majority for a single vehicle.”

According to Kelly Blue Book, a vehicle appraisal and automotive research company, a 2022 Dodge Charger starts at $31,350 and a 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe starts at $49,700, for production vehicles. This does not include packages of police interceptors typically ordered by law enforcement.

The Tahoes are all-wheel drive, which all law enforcement agencies in the area currently use, due to fluctuating weather conditions.

“I wouldn’t have a vehicle here that wasn’t all-wheel drive,” Temple said. “But as I said, anyone who has any leads or advice, please let me know, as we are starting to desperately need new cars.”

Temple, along with other law enforcement agencies, deal with police fleet managers at car dealerships because there is specialized equipment on police intercept vehicles.

Due to supply chain issues and delays in ordering vehicles, several other law enforcement agencies in the region have also had to postpone ordering new vehicles.

Continued:City council approves purchase of police vehicle

Continued:City Approves USDA Grant Application for Police Patrol Vehicle Funding

The sheriff’s department was unable to obtain the three patrol vehicles it had budgeted for due to shortages. The Cheboygan Department of Public Safety also had to switch from ordering a Dodge Ram Police Interceptor to a Chevy Silverado Police Interceptor, due to cost and availability issues.

Contact feature writer Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

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