New patrol vehicles roll into WU

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CUTLINE: West Union Police Sgt. Brent Parker stands alongside one of the local police department’s three new Chevy Tahoes, which are nearly detailed in the new North Fayette Valley school colors of black, silver, and Columbia blue. The City Council approved a four-year lease agreement with Deery Brothers in April for the new vehicles at a cost of approximately $113,250. The City will own the vehicles following the completion of the lease. (Mike Van Sickle photo)   



New patrol vehicles roll into WU

By Mike Van Sickle
Union editor

  Local residents and possibly a few “ticket holders” may have noticed that the West Union Police Department has started to patrol the community in its recently acquired fleet of Chevy Tahoes.

“Just having the opportunity to go on duty and get into a vehicle that not only provides a safe, comfortable space to work in, but also eliminates any real concerns of the patrol car breaking down while on a call, I believe, is a morale boost to the department in itself,” said West Union Police Sgt. Brent Parker. 

The City Council approved a four-year lease agreement with Deery Brothers in April for the three new vehicles at a cost of approximately $113,250. The City will own the vehicles following the completion of the lease.   

West Union City Administrator Bob Vagts explained Friday that the local police department’s most recent vehicles included a 2006 and 2007 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2009 Chevrolet Impala. The trio of cars had a combined mileage of 350,000 city miles.

While investigating the department’s purchasing options, Sgt. Parker said future maintenance costs, durability, versatility, and officer safety were among the chief issues examined.

Acknowledging the department’s awareness of best using the taxpayers’ money, Parker reported the price tag of each 2013 Tahoe was approximately $38,000. With government incentives and the state bidding process, the City’s purchase price was reduced to approximately $25,000. 

The West Union police sergeant noted that although the City received a reduced rate in the purchase, it would still receive full-market value at the end of the four-year lease agreement.

“After performing lots of research and reviewing data in an effort to make the best decision possible, we determined that the Tahoe would ultimately be the best choice,” said Parker, while further explaining, “During our research we found that the Chevrolet Tahoe is the cheapest and most cost-effective vehicle to operate due to low maintenance costs and high trade-in value.”

Other vehicles evaluated for purchase by the local police department included a Dodge Charger at a cost of $23,000 and Chevrolet Caprice at a cost of $26,500.

“Law enforcement agencies that have a full Tahoe fleet stated that the only maintenance they have with their Tahoes are oil and tires,” Parker continued. “They are simply well-built and low-maintenance vehicles.”

In regard to fuel costs, he reported that all of the vehicles appraised for purchase had city gas mileage estimated at 15-17 miles per gallon.

Noting that the new vehicles provide additional space for equipment and even stray-animal transportation, Parker added,  “With the ever-growing concern for officer safety, we wanted to ensure that the officers keeping the public safe are actually safe themselves. In addition to it simply being a larger vehicle, it offers great handling and possesses good safety and crash (protection) features.”

While the local police department patrols the community in its new fleet, officials noted that two of the three former squad cars would continue to be utilized by city employees and as a courtesy vehicle for the West Union Municipal Airport.

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