Sumpter Township trustees approved the $50,407 purchase of a Ford Interceptor Utility vehicle from Gorno Ford during the Feb. 14 meeting.
Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke explained that the procedures for purchasing police vehicles had changed significantly during the past few years.
“We can no longer just walk in and order a vehicle,” he told the board members. He noted that Ford is forecasting an increase that could be as much as $6,000 to $8,000 and that GM could be the same. Luke noted that the current patrol cars travel about 100 to 120 miles a day.
“It is 24 miles to make one lap around the township,” he said. He said the township should be able to transfer installation of the specialty equipment in the current patrol car to the new vehicle, “unless they make adjustment or redesign the interior of the vehicle.”
Luke explained that he was requesting the vehicle early as he anticipated one patrol car would reach the maximum mileage during this fiscal year and he did not want to wait until the summer of 2024 to begin the ordering procedure for a new vehicle.
He explained that the state bids a number of vehicles and a great deal of equipment and then sets a price. Certain dealers around the state specialize in municipal orders. Luke said the local Ford dealership has never been the dealership recognizing state pricing.
“We ran into some hiccups with a vehicle that just came in, so after a long discussion, we believe its best to stick with the dealer that actually has the direct connection to the way Ford does their fleet vehicles,” he said.
The purchase was unanimously approved with Trustee Peggy Morgan absent from the meeting.