The City of Hanford, Calif., has established a new take-home vehicle program for its police department. According to City documents, on March 5, 2013, the City introduced the take-home vehicle program and it underwent further discussion at the March 19 city council meeting, where the council directed staff to consider implementing the program for a period of two years. The program is designed to meet the needs of officers who reside within Hanford's City limits.
Darrell Smith, Captain, Police Support Services Division for the Hanford Police Department,said the City of Hanford has been operating a motor pool with a total of 11 patrol cars that 33 officers assigned to patrol share the use of. His report added that the vehicles are rotated out every 85,000 to 90,000 miles or approximately every three years. Due to their constant use (24 hours per day, 7 days per week), they are generally not in good condition and don't bring the City much money at auction.
Program benefits cited by Smith include faster response times to incidents in the area, no need to transfer gear to and from different pool cars. Smith’s cost and savings analysis of this program projects savings in terms of improved productivity from officers, roughly $124,000 per year.
Due to the need for more vehicles, though, the program’s overall costs would remain the same as the current program’s costs, based on Smith’s analysis.
As part of the program, the city council approved the purchase of 14 Dodge Charger patrol cars for use in the program. The City is spending approximately $379,000 on the new vehicles themselves and plans to spend around $196,000 for the purchase and installation of police radios for the units.