There are a total of 27 new Dodge Chargers and the first eight hit the road last week.
Together there will be 22, 2012 models and five, 2013 models, according to detective Lt. Tony Pyle.
“The whole fleet should hit the road around the end of October, or first of November,” Pyle said.
These police cars are far different from the old black and white cruisers that are still momentarily on the road.
The only similarities in appearance in these cars to the old ones are the “Land of the Cherokee” symbol.
The department looked at several different options for the cars, but thought these where the most visible, according to Pyle.
Calhoun City Police Chief Gary Moss’ reasoning for replacing the CPD’s current fleet, which are 2006 Ford Crown Victorias, is the cost of repairs on current patrol cars.
“In 2008 we spent $16,130 for parts on the cars that we have now, which are 2006 models.
In 2009-2010 we spent $26,502 and in 2010-2011 $30,813, in 2011-2012, we have to project the last three months, at $32,000; next year we are projecting $47,000 for parts,” said Moss. “The increase rises as the ages of the vehicles go up.”
Moss went on to say that the current fleet is having transmission problems, which is costing taxpayers money.
He said the CPD has to replace one transmission per month, costing $2,195 apiece.
The cost of labor for repairs is also starting to escalate as the fleet gets older.
“Our labor on the vehicles for the same period of time, 2008-2009, we spent $12,234, in 2009-2010 we spent $21,694 and in 2010-2011, $23,018, and projecting $28,008 for this year; next year we expect $40,000,” said Moss.
Pyle said the majority of the 2006 police cars had more than 100,000 miles on them.
“You have to look at the decrease in the value of cars, with the equipment in them we would get $6,000 per car,” said Moss. “We’d lose $94,500 on our fleet by keeping it another year at resale.”
Moss also researched the trade in value for the current fleet and for the Dodge Charger.
“The trade in value for the 2006 Crown Victoria’s is $4,775 while the retail value is $10,110; that’s in fair condition,” explained Moss. “The trade in value for the Dodge is $8,325 while the retail value is $14,750.”
Each unit comes with five speed automatic rear wheel drive, all speed traction control, high performance police tires, power door locks, speed control, push to start, keyless entry, inoperable door handles on the back and more.