ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – The Abilene Police Department got approval from City Council for some new wheels. The department is adding ten new Chevrolet Tahoes to its fleet but that cost isn’t cheap.
“We really only need council to approve the $453,527.50 to the resolution,” City Manager Robert Hanna said during Thursday’s City Council meeting.
Luckily the city has money set aside just for this purpose.
“It’s called the vehicle replacement fund and it’s got about $6,000,000 dollars in it,” Hanna said.
The base price of the police Tahoe start at $37,000, but that doesn’t include the extra equipment needed.
“A mobile data computer, those run a little over $5,000. You have to add a dash camera and those are about $5,200 and you’re going to ultimately have to put all the radios and lights so by the time you are fully finished equipping this vehicle you’ve spent an additional $11,000,” APD Chief Stan Standridge said.
Currently APD has 40 units in rotation but with close to 40 officers patrolling the streets at any given time plus an additional seven units needed for those vehicles that are out of commission for maintenance or wrecks it just isn’t enough.
“We have officers who leave briefing and they’re ready to go to work but there is no Tahoe so they’re sitting idle at the police department until a Tahoe eventually comes off the street and an off going officer literally does what’s called a hot swap. Now they could be waiting ten minutes but the worst I’ve heard is an hour,” Chief Standridge said.
Now people may ask ‘why not double up officers?’ According to Chief Standridge it’s not productive in a city where use of force isn’t common.
“We used force about 70 times in all of 2018,” Chief Standridge said.
For Chief Standridge it’s all about efficiency, which is exactly what he says these Tahoes will accomplish.
“More units, more visibility, more prevention,” Chief Standridge said.
APD has 107 officers on the force and in November will expect 13 more which only increases the need for these vehicles.