Budget Woes Make County Rethink Fleet
Like many showroom visitors, Nassau County, N.Y. can't get enough cash to buy police cars.
The Mineola, N.Y. legislature was expected to approve the 2009 capital budget on Jan. 5. The $117 million budget earmarks $2.5 million for replacement cars, enough to buy about 90 of the heavy-suspension, special law enforcement models that are much in need, according to Newsday.
The county tries to put 178 cars on the road each day, but that has been difficult because older cars require more repairs. About 100 cars, out of a fleet of 327, are out of service at any given time, up from an average of about 66 in recent years. Some cars have gone down in the middle of shifts, and recently the department was short 11 cars during a particularly cold day.
The aging fleet, however, made the police department decide to take away about 60 unmarked Crown Victorias sitting in the driveways of the brass who get a take-home car, plus free gas and maintenance, as a perk. Those vehicles being prepared for patrol duty, with the decals and roof racks.