Despite an already tight and shortened budget, Duncan City Council decided Tuesday that the Duncan Police Department’s three-year payout program for new cruisers would not suffer.

The payout program allows the department to purchase new vehicles to replace higher mileage vehicles every three years, as long as they don’t make anymore vehicle purchases within that time. The city’s six-month budget falls just in time for the department to purchase those new vehicles. Discussions were held on whether the council could budget for the full 12 vehicles that are allotted on the payout period, or if they should only purchase half of those and save money. After discussion, council members thought it wise to go ahead with the purchase of all 12 vehicles, as well as six new detective vehicles and two mobile radios.

Ford was unsure at the meeting whether the department would be purchasing more Crown Victoria model cruisers, or if they would be buying new Charger units. He said the final date to order the Crown Victorias was sometime in May, but suppliers are petitioning for a six-month extension to order the vehicles.

“We’ll check back in a week or so to see if they got the extension,” Ford said. “If not then we’ll probably look to the Chargers.”

Ford also said for them to order the Chargers in time, they would have to have them ordered by mid-July.

In addition to the cruisers, Ford said some of the money budgeted for new vehicles would be used to add two police pickup trucks. This would allow the department to have 4-wheel drive vehicles available should Duncan ever have a natural disaster event like the December blizzard or the January ice storm happen again. Until such an event happens though, he said supervisors would be driving them. The new detective vehicles will be Dodge Avengers. Originally, DPD planned to  get two other vehicle types for detective units, but the prices were outside of department budget. Ford said the Avengers still are higher than the allotted money for those particular vehicles, but that amount can be made up by what they save when they purchase the new cruisers.

As for the two radios being purchased, Ford was glad the council could put together enough money to buy at least two of the proposed six radios applied for on the budget.

“We put things on there that were both needed and critical,” Ford said. “The radios were needed, but not critical, not particularly life or death.

“We appreciate the council giving them to us.”

— Kevin Kerr is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354 Ext. 147 or by e-mail at kevin.kerr@duncanbanner.com.

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