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Other vehicles need upgrading

Mary Thompson

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department’s vehicles are in line for upgrades.

City Council approved last week a bid for 14 new patrol vehicles.

According to Cmdr. Bart Owens, Downtown Ford of Sacramento was awarded the contract to sell the city 10 Ford Expedition sport utility vehicles and four Ford Crown Victoria sedans.



The vehicles, which likely won’t arrive until after Jan. 1, will replace a fleet of Ford Explorers that are four years old and have an average of 95,000 miles under their tires.

He said the police department decided to upgrade from Ford Explorers to the larger Expedition model for officer comfort.



“Officers spend their whole shift in the car sometimes,” he said. “Plus with all the equipment that gets put in there, it can get a little cramped.”

Owens said the turn-around time for a police vehicle is quick because of the abuse they take in everyday patrol work.

“A police car ends up idling a lot,” he said. “I’d venture to say that the door of a police car gets opened and closed more than 60 times a day.”

The bid amount for the vehicles totaled $386,000. A separate bid was awarded in the amount of $84,300 for the installation of emergency equipment. Owens said the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder.

“This will be the first time that all the cars will be set up the same,” he said. “That’s what you want in an emergency situation – you want to know where everything is.”

Owens said most of the old vehicles will be sold in auction, with the exception of a few that will be kept for use by city officials.


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