Government Fleet Top News

Longer Replacement Schedule for Dallas P.D. Creates Vehicle Shortage

October 20, 2004

DALLAS, TX – The Dallas City Council’s decision to postpone the replacement of police patrol cars has increased maintenance times and forced officers to wait in line for available vehicles, according to The Dallas Morning News.The life of a patrol vehicle was increased from 80,000 miles to 100,000 miles in the 2000-2001 fiscal year and raised again to 125,000 miles in the 2002-2003 budget cycle.By extending vehicle life from three to five years, the city has saved more than $2 million annually, said Dave Cook, the city’s chief financial officer. This does not take into account delayed response times and increased maintenance costs on older units.Of the 502 cars assigned to regular patrol duty, 22 percent were unavailable as of Sept. 1, according to a department analysis. Officers said it is common for this many vehicles to be awaiting maintenance, repairs, or replacement at one time.An independent efficiency study of the police department concluded that the decision to replace vehicles less frequently was motivated by good intentions, but not sound from a management perspective. The study recommended that patrol vehicles be replaced after 75,000 miles.

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