For 35 years Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) has invested into a program that gives smaller agencies access to high-quality vehicles for a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle.
For the fleet and facilities division in Missouri, officer safety is the No. 1 priority. The first and only program of its kind in the state, it works to help other agencies in their quest to grow a solid department fleet. The division offers well-maintained retired fleet vehicles to government agencies at a discount. The division sells approximately 500 vehicles each year.
“We have a central garage operation in central Missouri that does all the major work. And then there are nine troops scattered around the state that have mechanics at those locations that will do minor maintenance,” said Cathy Brown, MSHP division director. “We take great pride in how well we maintain our vehicles so that when we sell our vehicles we are able to provide a comprehensive list and documentation of all maintenance performed on that vehicle.”
Everything from preventive maintenance to repairs is done in-house. Standards have also been established when it comes to selling the vehicles — there are mileage maximums that cars must have, and no car should experience any substantial damage.
“We will not sell a substandard vehicle,” she added.
The department tracks mileage and maintenance through Chevin’s FleetWave system. They have determined what mileage is best to let certain vehicles go: Sedans retire at 55,000 miles, SUVs at 65,000 miles, and trucks retire at about 75,000 miles. Letting go of these vehicles at such low mileages allow them to be covered under a powertrain warranty.
Chevrolet Tahoes, Dodge Chargers, and Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles are offered for sale. They come fully equipped with accessories needed to make them functional for a police fleet.
“We offer the LED lightbar that we use, the control box, the speaker will be mounted in front of the vehicle and behind the grill, and the tail light and headlight wig wags will be hooked up, all for an extra fee” explained Todd Diehl, MSHP fleet sales manager.
Brown added that about 99% of the vehicles sold are going to other sheriff's, police, and fire departments. The program is doing great things in providing safe and practical vehicles for smaller fleets that may not be able to afford brand new vehicles.
The program has been proven successful for the division. It has many returning customers, yielding an estimated $16,000 or so in sales per vehicle.
“All of them [vehicles] are sold through my office here unless they don't meet our standards and then we'll send them to our local state surplus and then they utilize GovDeals. Specialty vehicles sometimes will use Purple Wave, an auction site. But as far as all our police cruisers, [they] are all sold through me,” Diehl states.
In very rare instances, Diehl explained that if the car sits for more than 90 days it will then be sold to the public who are interested in purchasing the vehicle. However, the program is mostly for utilization by other government agencies.
“It really helps out the smaller agencies if people know that if they buy a used police vehicle from the State of Missouri it's going to be a good quality vehicle,” said Brown.
The division hopes to continue to offer the service to help small fleets to continue to build their fleets with quality vehicles. Brown believes they are the only entity in the state with such a successful police fleet program.
Fleet managers interested in purchasing a vehicle from MSHP can learn more about the program on MSHP’s website.