Last month, city council approved the purchase of three Chevrolet Caprice cruisers that will have the new colors.
Mayor Mike Seferian said at a recent meeting that road patrol officers took a vote to change the colors on the cruisers. He said that the city would go back to the traditional black cruisers with white decals, including some blue markings, as the fleet is updated in the future. Other police departments have also chosen to return to the black and white cruisers, he said.
The Chevrolet Caprice cruisers were purchased for $76,532 from Dunn Chevrolet after the trade-in of two cruisers. Council chose to go with Dunn, even though the price was $2,422 more than the state contract from Taylor Chevrolet, located in Lancaster, Ohio, because Dunn is a local vendor.
Councilman Mike Sheehy said the city had gone with the state purchasing contract in the past when it was clear that it was the lowest and best deal for the city. He said there was a marginal difference between Dunn’s and the state purchasing price, and Dunn’s had been a good supplier in the past.
Seferian said there would be an additional charge for the second color, which is more of a decal.
The “On the Bay” logo currently on the police vehicles will also be on the new cruisers.
“We’ll incorporate the color scheme, and still keep that Oregon theme or trademark with the vehicles,” said Seferian after the meeting.
Police Chief Mike Navarre said the extra cost per vehicle would be $350. The city will use the Law Enforcement Trust Fund instead of the General Fund to pay for them.
Administrator Mike Beazley said there was money budgeted for two police vehicles, and the city was able to purchase three vehicles by leveraging the Law Enforcement Trust Fund.
The new cruisers will replace the Crown Victorias that are presently in the fleet because Ford is discontinuing that model. Navarre said that patrol officers made the decision to go with the Chevy Caprices, and had decided to go with the black and white colors. because of uniformity, recognition and safety. He said officers felt it was important for their own safety, and it helped with morale in the department.
Seferian said last week that the goal is to replace all the cruisers in the fleet with Chevrolet Caprices within the next few years, though some vehicles will not be changed for a while.
“As we get the new cars - three this time and maybe two or three next year - we will still have a bunch of other vehicles. We don’t want a hodge podge of different vehicles out there. We are going to evolve into this. We’ll probably continue with the prisoner transport car, which is longer term, for quite a few more years. If we try and retrofit that to match the others, it would be kind of expensive. The road patrol cars are going to, within a three year period, be replaced and they’ll all look alike.”