, Port Arthur, Texas

November 14, 2012

PAPD gets new vehicles to update fleet

Brooke Crum
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Drivers careening through Port Arthur next week may want to watch out for officers of the Port Arthur Police Department. They will have shiny new wheels.

PAPD will receive 18 new vehicles to replace some of the older vehicles in its fleet after the Port Arthur City Council approved the expenditure Oct. 16. The department will receive eight white Dodge Chargers next week and10 Chevy Tahoes in early December, Lt. Steve Brinson said.

The department purchased the eight Dodge Chargers from Dallas Dodge for $260,095. And the 10 Chevy Tahoes would come from Caldwell Country Chevrolet for a price of $364,760.

Two of the Tahoes would replace the department’s crime scene processing vehicles, and one would go to the K-9 unit. The rest, Brinson said, would be for general patrol.

And they would be really good-looking, too, he said. The new colors on the cars would make the design pop a little bit more, Brinson said, but that was the only significant change to the design.

The purchase reflects a plan to modernize the police’s fleet while preventing the entire fleet from accruing high levels of mileage simultaneously, Floyd Johnson, city manager, said.

“A fleet of as many vehicles as we have can be pretty costly,” he said. “If we don’t properly manage the preventative maintenance and the rotation of those vehicles in such a way as to get maximum efficiency out of them, then we are not being good stewards of the public’s money.”

The police department has 75 cars in its patrol fleet, and once they hit 100,000 miles it is typically time to order additional vehicles, Brinson said. PAPD budgets for new cars every year and already has a running list of replacements for next year.

It is a revolving door of replacement vehicles for PAPD to keep its fleet up-to-date. But Brinson said he was ready to get the wheels on the ground and spinning all over town.