Government Fleet Top News

Illinois State Police Vehicle Fleet Outdated

January 18, 2006

SPRINGFIELD, IL - From gas tanks falling out of Illinois State Police cars because of rusted frames to transmission failures, state troopers throughout Illinois are experiencing the risks of driving high-mileage patrol cars, according to the Copley News Service.The agency's patrol cars have an average of 122,000 miles on them – about 40,000 more than is recommended for state police fleets.Eight percent of the Illinois State Police fleet have fewer than 50,000 miles, whereas 67 percent of the vehicles have more than 100,000 miles.In Iowa, 42 percent of state police vehicles have less than 50,000 miles, and only 24 percent have more than 100,000 miles, according to Jim Saunders, public information officer for the Iowa State Patrol.The Illinois State Police Fleet Operations spent almost $6 million on repairs in fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30.Parker has state police districts all over the state send him weekly fleet reports. Through the data he has collected, Parker estimates that the Illinois State Police would have saved $1.4 million in fiscal year 2005 if all the agency's vehicles had fewer than 80,000 miles.As an attempt to curb the lack of money for the fleet, Illinois State Representative Jim Sacia drafted a bill that will add a $10 fee for traffic-law violators who opt for court supervision.The former law enforcement officer expects the bill to generate almost $8 million for state police vehicles. From January to December 2005, the secretary of state's office reported 777,266 cases of court supervision in the state.Another piece of legislation, sponsored by Illinois State Representative Shane Cultra would tack an additional $5 onto fines paid by violators convicted of speeding. That money would then go to a State Police Vehicle Fund.Illinois State Representative Bill Black is a co-sponsor for Cultra's bill, HB4307, and in 1995 he passed public law 89-0054, which set up a procedure to replace Illinois State Police cars on a revolving three-year basis.State money has not been set aside to purchase new cars for the Illinois State Police since 2002, a spokesperson for Gov. Rod Blagojevich said.The state police were able to purchase 87 new vehicles with money from the Department of Homeland security, said Master Sgt. Rick Hector, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police.The governor is expected to announce that through his yet-to-be-released capital budget proposal, Illinois State Police would receive 500 new vehicles. Carroll would not confirm or deny that.The secretary of state's office recorded 409,981 speeding convictions in 2005.

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