Hobart Lane: PTV in action
Three front line cruisers, AKA patrol cars, i.e. "black-and-whites," at a total cost of $105,000. These vital vehicles are on the go 24 hours a day, seven days a week and as a result only last two or three years. The department is currently on a four year replacement cycle: replace three cruisers annually for three consecutive years and then four in the fourth year.
Since the iconic Crown Vics are no longer manufactured, the replacement vehicles will all be Ford Taurus Police Interceptors, which are crash rated to 75 MPH. Thus the vehicles are safer, as well as roomier for extra comfort, and fiscally sound via better gas mileage.
A reliable response vehicle is required for first responders
Last year was a replace-four year but there is still money left over from that appropriation, so the department is putting $45,000 of it towards a new Personal Transport Vehicle or PTV.
Not to be confused with the racially insensitive term "paddy wagon." Although I heard a number of college aged youth use that term as they were being loaded into the vehicle last fall. The current van has over 136,000 miles on it.
Left over FY13 money ($12,000) will also be used to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle coming off lease (with only 1,492 miles on it). A few years ago APD had a mounted horse division but that was put out to pasture due to budget constraints.
Also requested is an in-cruiser wireless camera system for two cars ($10,500) that shoots digital audio and video and immediately downloads as the patrol car pulls into the station parking lot. The raw video protects officers from liability (false claims of inappropriate conduct) and can be used in a court of law for evidence in drunk driving arrests.
The department requested these two camera systems last year but was delayed to save money. That year the department had to upgrade its communication system at a cost of $125,000 to come into compliance with FCC "narrow band" regulations.
Captain Pronovost left, Chief Livingstone left center Kay Moran JCPC Chair right
Joint Capital Planning Committee's target goal is to spend 7% of total budget for capital items.
While a total police request of $172,500 ($57,000 already appropriated) may sound like a lot, considering the FY14 APD operation budget is, like the Amherst Fire Department, just over $4 million, a 7% slice for capital should come to $280,000.
Not a bad deal for safety.