SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY - Suffolk County owns 141 unused 2007-model police vehicles sitting in a parking lot waiting to be put into commission, a Public Works department official said, according to

Thomas LaGuardia, chief deputy public works commissioner, told a legislative committee the Ford Crown Victorias were bought with surplus funds two years ago and have been gradually put into use since. 

The surplus Crown Victorias, sitting in a Westhampton county lot, will allow the police department and sheriff's office to purchase fewer new vehicles in 2009.

"That gives us a bit of a cushion, so we can live with a reduction in police vehicles this year," LaGuardia told the Legislature's Public Works & Transportation Committee.

LaGuardia said the Crown Victorias remain like new, and once the vehicles are commissed as public safety vehicles, the five-year warranty starts, he said.

The County commissions about 200 new Crown Victorias annually among the police department, sheriff's office, district attorney's office and correction department, LaGuardia said. Each new vehicle costs about $27,000, he reported. The surplus 2007 vehicles represent about $3.8 million  the County will not spend on new vehicles this year.