Police cars, trucks cost $718,000

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service spent exactly $718,293.04 on 11 new police cars, 10 SUVs and three new trucks earlier this year, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information request made by the Caymanian Compass.

The purchase price includes $361,132 spent on 11 Dodge Chargers and $184,130 spent on 10 Suzuki Grand Vitaras.

Equipment fit outs for the new squad cost $91,110.17, including light bars, door decals, laptop mounts for inside cars and partition cages to hold prisoners, according to the RCIPS.

In addition, three Ford Ranger Double Cab diesel trucks with tow hitch installations were purchased for a total of $81,920.87.

“This will be the first time that we will have specifically designed police Dodge Chargers and Ford Crew Cab diesel pickups in our fleet,” said RCIPS Business Manager Peter Davis in July, announcing the arrival of the new police cars.

The new vehicles, purchased by the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs for the RCIPS, have replaced a number of aging patrol cars.

Many of the older patrol vehicles due to be replaced were already second-hand when they were originally purchased by the RCIPS. They have spent long periods of time off the road because of their age and the need for constant maintenance and repair. The RCIPS has gradually been reducing its fleet numbers through 2010/11 to reduce fleet running costs.

The purchase of the new vehicles will greatly reduce maintenance and other related costs over the next five years, police said.

Maintenance

According to budget statements from the police service, obtained under the Freedom of Information Law, the RCIPS spent less than $100,000 on maintenance of its vehicle fleet during the 2010/11 budget year.

However, maintenance costs for the police marine unit and for the air support unit – the police helicopter – were significantly more, according to the information provided.

The RCIPS spent just more than $491,000 on maintaining the police Eurocopter during the 2010/11 budget year, which ended on 30 June, 2011. Maintenance costs for the marine unit fleet were just under $270,000 for the year.

Fuel costs for the helicopter were just shy of $110,000, while fuel for the marine unit cost the department about $70,000.

In addition to the fuel and maintenance costs, the police service listed some $538,000 in “other” costs related to the helicopter. According to police personnel, about 80 per cent of that amount was for depreciation of the 1999 Eurocopter vehicle, which was purchased in 2007 for $1.8 million.

The remaining “other” costs on the helicopter – totalling approximately $100,000 – were not explained by police.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. RCIPS Business Manager Peter Davis may be happy with this purchase but I cannot support him. Most of the vehicles purchased are left-hand drive. The Dodge Chargers are muscle cars designed to be driven at speed. This is not safe and the police should know better. There are alternatives available from the UK and from Japan which would have placed the steering wheel on the correct side of the vehicle for safe driving, particularly in chases.

    I have seen many incidents of traffic police (and one lady police-woman in particular) who just love to perform u-turns in traffic at speed and with no regard to oncoming or following traffic so as to follow a speeding car or respond to an emergency call. Can you imagine this in a left-hand drive vehicle with no realistic sight of oncoming traffic? Will the police train their traffic people to stop doing these u-turns and pull their licences if they do not desist?

    Finally, when will the police use their new cars to discipline drivers who break the law by (a)obscuring their licence plate with darkened plastic covers (hoping to make the use of CCTV cameras ineffective, I assume), and (b) turn right on a dual carriageway roundabout by going all the way around in the left-hand lane. This is just dumb!

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