The Weirton, West Virginia, City Council authorized the purchase of 15 new police vehicles using American Rescue Plan funds. The expansion of the fleet will allow for the Weirton Police Department to institute a take-home program for officers.
Council members unanimously approved resolutions to purchase the all-wheel-drive 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles at an amount not to exceed $596,743.20. The upfitting of the 15 vehicles will cost up to $218,075.85, and the purchase of 15 Kenwood NX5700 mobile radios will cost up to $23,636.25, according to the Herald-Star.
The city manager said the city was fortunate to be able to acquire so many 2022 models, since the 2023 models would have cost $8,000 more per unit. Additionally, a councilman said this may be the last year where vehicle prices can be negotiated, noting that many OEMs are no longer offering discounts or special offers.
The initial resolution called for the purchase of only 11 in-car cameras because the other four vehicles will be used for officers-in-charge positions. A councilman encouraged the department to equip all of the vehicles with the cameras, noting concerns of safety and liability. The city attorney agreed, and the council amended the resolution to reflect that.