Seligman weighs options for police car

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

City facing consistent issues with current vehicles over last 2 years

As the city of Seligman has had continuous issues with their police vehicles, the search has started for a new police car.

Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said the board is not interested in some specific models of vehicle, based on issues they have had over the last year.

“They are considering a Chevy Tahoe or Ford F150,” he said. “They are looking at those because once it gets out of lifespan for the police department, we can find other uses for it.”

The city purchased the oldest current police vehicle in 2014, and the second vehicle in service was purchased in 2015.

“At this point, both of them have had new motors put in them by Dodge under their warranty,” Nichols said. “The motors were put in at 80,000 miles and at 60,000 miles, and we are having motor issues again.”

Nichols said the work isn’t caused by running the vehicles too hard or rough.

“I would say both vehicles have spent at least a year’s worth of time at the dealership to have warranty work done,” he said. “Any vehicle you buy now, you should be able to go 100,000 miles or so before any serious work needs to be done to them.”

The first car that had the motor replaced at 80,000 miles has also had the top half of the motor worked on multiple times.

“There have been instances where the vehicle was at the dealership for months just waiting on parts to come in,” he said. “We have had a lot of motor-related issues with both of these cars.”

Nichols said the issue seems to be only in the V-6 motors.

“We aren’t finding the same problems anywhere else in the V-8 motors,” he said. “We are considering purchasing new Chargers with the V-8 motor, but the [council] isn’t on board, and I understand why.”

The council does not want to purchase one again based on the amount of time the ones they have has spent in the shop.

“All of the work that is being done is under warranty, so it isn’t costing the city anything,” Nichols said. “But, we could run into an issue of being short a police car when we need one.”

At this time, the work is being put into getting the council on board with purchasing a vehicle, then Nichols said the price range of the vehicle agreed upon will be decided.

“The Chargers are definitely the cheapest vehicle out there,” he said. “The next closest would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but when we started looking into them, we saw a city in Utah bought a bunch of them and the officers are complaining that they aren’t safe and that they aren’t working good as a police vehicle.”

After the vehicle and cost is agreed upon, the work will go into finding grants to help cover costs.

“The last two vehicles we purchased, we didn’t qualify for grants,” he said. “The size of the police department is a factor, and being a smaller department hurts our chances to get those grants sometimes.

“All said and done, the last two police vehicles purchased cost $31,000 each. If we stepped up to the Tahoe or F150, we might be looking in the $38,000 range, but there is possible trade-in value.”

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