August 23, 2023 |

Photo – SPD new police vehicle – by Tana Davi Bigfoot99

The Saratoga Police Department has received a pre-owned patrol vehicle to add to their fleet.

During the August 1st Saratoga town council meeting, Police Chief Mike Morris said he and Lieutenant John Moore were looking to buy a new SUV for the department. Chief Moore said $75,000 of impact assistance funding was set aside for the purchase.

Addressing the council, Lt. Moore said the town has three options for acquiring a new police cruiser. Lt. Moore said the first choice is to buy a brand-new vehicle and install the equipment needed for police duty. Moore said it could take more than half a year for the town to receive the new vehicle.

Lt. Moore said he located two pre-owned 2020 All-Wheel Drive Special Service Dodge Durangos in Illinois. Moore said the vehicles had relatively low mileage and were already configured for police service.

Lt. Moore said the dealer would sell both vehicles together for $80,000. Moore said the dealership would also deliver the SUVs to Saratoga for $950 a piece, bringing the total purchase price of both vehicles to $81,900.

Lt. Moore said the two Dodge Durangos had time remaining on their factory warranties. Aside from different colored lightbars, Moore said the SUVs already contained the required police equipment.

Lt. Moore said changing the color of the emergency lights would cost between $500 and $1,500 depending on if the entire lightbar needed to be replaced. Moore said computer mounts are the only required upgrades the two SUVs need, costing $600 for each vehicle.

Lt. Moore presented his final two options to the council. Moore said option two was for the town to purchase both pre-owned police vehicles for $86,100. The price included the cost of installing the computer mounting hardware in both trucks. Lt. Moore said the third option is for the town to choose one of the SUVs to buy for the full listed dealer price.

Councilwoman Kathy Beck asked if swapping out the lightbars would bring the total of both vehicles closer to $90,000. Lt. Moore said yes. Red lights aren’t required by law, but Lt. Moore said he wanted the SUVs to look similar to local law enforcement vehicles.

Councilwoman Beck asked Lt. Moore if the Saratoga Police Department needed two new vehicles. Lt. Moore said the police department recently spent around $2,000 repairing three older vehicles. Chief Morris said the department has several older cruisers, but one new SUV would be sufficient. The chief said he wanted the council to decide if he could buy both Dodge Durangos or not.

Chief Morris said he would be happy with whatever decision the council made.

The police department had $75,000 in impact assistance funding earmarked to purchase a new police cruiser.

Chief Morris said the graphics for the new cruiser would be discussed at a later council meeting.

Councilwoman Beck asked Chief Morris how he expected the town to come up with, roughly, an additional $15,000 to buy both vehicles. The police chief said he wanted to use more impact assistance funding.

The council members agreed that buying one vehicle was the best course of action. A motion was made and passed to allow the police department to purchase a single SUV.

At the August 15th Saratoga town council meeting, Chief Morris informed the council that he had taken delivery of the Dodge Durango that day. The chief said the vehicle would be registered, insured, and on the road as soon as possible.

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