From The Tribune-Review by Mark Hofmann, January 22, 2014
The Connellsville Police Department will get a new police cruiser this year with the hopes of more to follow.
Connellsville City Council voted unanimously this week to purchase a 2014 Chevrolet Impala Limited police vehicle.
The vehicle will be purchased from Day Chevrolet in Monroeville and the city will lease the $26,696 vehicle for three years at a cost of $804.13 per month with the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the term for $1.
The vehicle will replace an 8-year-old Chevy Impala police cruiser that has been in need of repairs.
When preparing the 2014 budget, council included money for a new vehicle.
Connellsville Police Chief James Capitos and Mayor Greg Lincoln began researching the purchase of a new police vehicle and found one by going through the Central Westmoreland Council of Government’s Vehicle and Equipment Purchasing Program.
“The organization lets you shop around for the best price for a vehicle,” Capitos said.
“I was very grateful that council saw the importance in replacing one of our run-down police cars,” Lincoln said. “I’m hoping we can have a proactive approach to maintaining our fleet of police cruisers, too.”
Even though the quoted price was the best they could find, Capitos said the price would have been lower if the accessories in the current vehicle didn’t need replaced, which will be done after the order is placed through Day Chevrolet, the vehicle is delivered and commissioned for the police department.
While eight years of age for the vehicle does not seem old enough to be replaced, Capitos said police vehicles normally have a shelf life of four years before repairs are needed and begin adding up.
“We’re driving it 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Capitos said. “It’s not like using your family car.”
Council on Tuesday also voted to join the Central Westmoreland Council of Governments and paid a membership fee of $195. The city was a member of that organization years ago.
Police vehicles aren’t the only equipment that can be purchased through the program. Other departments can benefit.
Lincoln said he’s hopeful another police cruiser can be purchased next year.
The city has been in contact with a representative through state Rep. Deberah Kula’s office about possible grants to fund another purchase.
“My goal as head of the department is to make sure our police officers who keep this city safe on a daily basis have the instruments that they need to do their jobs in the safest way possible,” Lincoln said. “Replacing old and high-mileage vehicles is the first step in this process.”