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College Place considers leasing police vehicles

The city of College Place is considering leasing vehicles for the police department.

COLLEGE PLACE, Washington – As the city of College Place’s staff looks at growth, Mayor Harvey Crowder said the group is also looking at how to pay for it and what’s the best and most efficient way of operating the city.

Presently the city council is looking into at how it’s going to pay for new police cars.

“We have an old fleet,” Crowder said. “We’re looking at leasing six police cars a year for about the same price we’d pay for one if you were buying it outright.”

Last month, the city council requested a report on leasing of police vehicles, which was prepared by Public Works Director Paul Hartwig.

The current fleet consists of 12 Ford vehicles, all of which could be replaced with leased ones. They have two 2010 Crown Victorias, three 2014 SUV Interceptors, five 2015 Interceptors, and one 2016 Interceptor.

In the report, Hartwig noted the importance of having a dealer located in the Walla Walla Valley. It also stated, “After reviewing the different makes and models with the fleet supervisor and police chief, it was determined the Dodge Durango would be the best vehicle for the city’s police fleet.”

The report also recommended the city lease six police vehicles on a seven-year lease for an annual lease payment of $49,893. That’s considerably less that the estimated $60,000 price tag one agency gave Hartwig on what a fully-equipped new police vehicle would cost the city.

The report concludes with Hartwig recommending council keeps in mind how the vehicle fits the needs of the police officers.

“It seems the officers are being equipped with more and more equipment which requires more space in the in the driver’s compartment,” it states. “As the officers are in the vehicle for a good portion of their shift, it is important to provide a vehicle that provides good comfort and ride-ability.”

Police officers in College Place take home their vehicles so they are able to be called to duty from their homes once their shifts begin or to respond immediately should they be called in to work an emergency.

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