Government Fleet Top News

Dallas Police to Lease Vehicles

March 7, 2006

DALLAS – The Dallas Police Department plans to lease cars in an effort to ease a shortage of reliable vehicles, according to the Dallas Morning News. The department expects to lease 25 Grand Prixs to replace 10 of its worst vehicles and add 15 cars to its unmarked fleet, said Assistant Chief Ron Waldrop in the Dallas Morning News report. The department's first leased cars will cost about $500 a month for each.Chief Waldrop said the lease program won't solve the larger problem: the decrepit state of the department's unmarked fleet. But if it proves successful, the department wants to expand the approach in upcoming budget years, he said.The department has about 355 unmarked cars, with about 220 assigned to operations and investigative duties. About 44 percent of its 220 sedans are between 10 and 12 years old. And 85 percent are more than five years old, with more than half of those vehicles having more than 75,000 miles.Unlike the marked cars driven by patrol officers, the cars driven by detectives typically aren't driven as much, or as hard. It takes far longer, usually 10 to 12 years, before unmarked vehicles meet the criteria for replacement.Waldrop believes leasing will cost the department less in the long run because vehicle maintenance won't cost as much.

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