The Spokane, Washington, City Council approved a resolution for an investment of at least $6.2 million in 2022 for public safety vehicles. The investment includes a mix of 35 hybrid, electric, and diesel police vehicles, according to a press release. It also includes funding for four new fire pumper trucks. The city council additionally approved support of $2.5 million, with the option for further consideration of more police vehicles later this year.
The $6.2 million comes from American Rescue Plan Act funds for revenue replacement. Here's how it breaks down:
- $2,374,000 for the purchase and commissioning of the following 35 police vehicles:
- Up to 25 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid models
- Up to five Ford Mach-E or equivalent models
- Up to three Ford Lightning or equivalent models
- Up to two Chevrolet Diesel Tahoe or equivalent diesel models.
- $3,707,869 for the purchase and commissioning of four fire pumper trucks
- $90,000 for the purchase and installation of electric charging infrastructure
- $100,000 to be transferred to Fleet Services for the procurement of a study to reduce police vehicle maintenance and purchase costs. Methods studied will include reforms for take-home vehicles, fleet rotational policies, and recommend electric vehicle model choices based on experiences of other police departments and independent analysis
"Creating a more sustainable fleet that lasts longer will cost less, and is more effective in protecting community members," said City Council President Breean Beggs.
The police department recently tested the Tesla Model Y as a police cruiser, finding that it was not big enough for multiple officers and that there was no ability to install essential safety equipment. Police Maj. Mike McNabb presented the findings to the city council, saying he preferred the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrids. Beggs suggested the department try the Ford F-150 Lightning or other electric models. The appropriations in this funding allow for some flexibility to purchase the EV models that work for the department.
The police department currently has more than 200 vehicles eligible for replacement based on mileage and age, according to McNabb. He explained at a recent city council meeting that due to supply chain issues, the department would likely not receive any new vehicles after they are ordered until later this year or early next year.
The new funding also provides $90,000 for EV charging infrastructure. That's in addition to a fleet fuel surcharge implemented earlier this month, which helps fund EV charging infrastructure for the city.