The St. Marys Police Department (SMPD) purchased five new Ford F-150 pickup trucks for its fleet. The SMPD decided on the F-150 over the Ford Crown Victoria and Dodge Charger due to financial reasons, says the agency.
Although St. Marys has Dodge Chargers in its fleet, they say maintenance on the vehicles has been costly, according to a statement from the police department. The average cost of a Dodge Charger is $22,980.
“As we began to research the use of pickup trucks as patrol vehicles, we found that this is something that is occurring more frequently in departments across the country,” said in a statement from SMPD.
The city saved more than $5,000 per vehicle on the cost of equipping the trucks by using some of the old radio and radar systems.
The $140,000 granted for the vehicles comes from the city’s special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) fund.
Some of the other vehicles considered during the selection process were the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Police Utility and Ford Police Sedan. In order to install the proper equipment into each vehicle, the Department needed to keep the cost at $114,000 for all of the vehicles. The Chevy Tahoe and Ford Utility vehicles were both out of the price range. The Ford Sedan was more than $3,500 under budget, but was beat by the Ford F-150 because of its lack of durability and shorter life cycle, according to the Department.
"In addition to having the ability to perform all of the duties of a patrol vehicle, the F-150 does not have any chronic maintenance issues," said in the statement.