DALLAS - The Dallas Police Department (DPD) has put newer police cruisers to the side in efforts to max-out the mileage on older vehicles so they can finally be replaced, according to the Dallas Morning News.
As part of an effort by department officials to fix the "badly mismanaged auto fleet", older 1995 Ford Taurus vehicles have been put back into service. An inventory from last year showed several dozen 1995 Ford Tauruses, many with only 60,000 to 80,000 miles on them, reported the Morning News.
Previous oversight of the department's fleet vehicles allowed officers to drive newer cars while older units collected dust. Because no one wanted to drive them, they didn't accumulate enough mileage to warrant replacement. Once enough mileage has been accrued on the older cars to allow them to finally meet the city's standard for replacement, then the city can buy new ones for the police department.
Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson, who took over the effort to bring the department's fleet into the 21st century, said vehicles that have been deemed as "trash" have been removed.
Simpson has spent the past year trying to fix the issue when it comes to patrol cars, which according to the city's policy are to be replaced at 100,000 miles. He said the changes have been successful, and they are now moving towards the unmarked fleet. For unmarked cars, DPD's ballpark mileage for replacement is about 120,000. But it depends on the condition of a car and how much money has been spent on it over its life.
Simpson said the department would ultimately like to move to a system of leasing unmarked cars, rather than buying them. After a year or two, they'd be turned back in. Simpson said it would be more economical for the city and it would also keep detectives and supervisors in new cars all the time.
But until then, he said, the department will have to drive its oldest cars first, reflecting best practices found in other cities and private companies such as UPS and FedEx, reported the Morning News.