by Cori Hilsgen
The St. Joseph Police Department recently purchased a 2014 Ford sport-utility vehicle to replace squad unit 704, a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria.
Police Chief Joel Klein said Ford no longer makes the 704 model, and it was scheduled to be returned because of a leasing agreement.
Klein said the SUV is safer and easier for officers to handle. The new vehicle will be leased from the State of Minnesota for $568.75 per month for four years or 90,000 miles.
“The only costs the city has to worry about are tires, fuel or insurance,” Klein said. “Otherwise, every repair is covered through our lease contract.”
He said it’s quite a savings to the city and makes it easier to budget expenses.
The department currently has five squad vehicles. A four-wheel drive GMC Yukon, two all-wheel drive Ford SUVs and two Chevy Tahoes which are two-wheel drive. The Yukon is used more for bad weather – such as snow, major events and sometimes with shift work.
Klein has noticed the department is able to get more miles on the four-wheel drive vehicle tires. Eventually, he would like to have all squads with all-wheel drive because they cling to the road better and are safer in rain or snow. If feasible, Klein hopes to replace one squad each year.
photo by Janelle Von Pinnon
Officer Shane Vernier shows off the St. Joseph Police Department’s newest squad unit, a 2014 Ford sport-utility vehicle.