City Government

Ultimate Pimp My Ride Is Boise Coppers Cars

Too many cop cars and not enough mechanics was causing a 55 day delay before new Ford Crown Vics and Chevy Impalas hit the road. Then Boise found the police equivalent of “Pimp My Ride” in Salem, Oregon.

After a reader tipped us that $7,000 per vehicle was leaving not only the city, but the state to install lights, siren, radio, computer, security cages and all the rest of the police toys, we had a chat with the new fleet manager, Craig Croner.

“We’re doing it (outsourcing) to save time and money,” said Croner who noted there are 800 pieces of “rolling stock” in the City fleet (that’s techno speak for cars and trucks) along with another 300 assorted tractors, mowers and other equipment.

“We have seven and a half mechanics and it was taking 55 days just to get the police cars on the road,” said Croner. We all KNOW what “half a mechanic” looks like. Today he tells us with the ride pimping company, Auto Additions, it takes just 20 days. The first 21 cars are due in town any day.

The GUARDIAN is critical of the $12,600 shipping bill for the new cars. By having the Boise cars delivered directly to Salem, they could save over $300 per unit just on shipping.

It would also seem like someone closer to home would get in the business if they stand to make $6,000 per unit which is the actual cost of outfitting the cars, using both used and new components such as light bars etc. The installation of all the electronics goes way beyond simple shade tree mechanicing, but apparently we can’t “get er done” locally. The City, by law, is allowed to use state bids negotiated by other agencies, hence they send the cars to Salem.

All the new cars have the politically correct “E-85” compliant flexfuel capability which means they can burn fuel that is made mostly from expensive corn. Look for a lot of money to be made in the next few years by ill conceived, but well intended greenie policies and regulations.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 24, 2008, 4:13 pm

    In addition to Cop Cars, the good folks at the City Shop also work on Fire Department Apparatus, Narc Cars, assorted other City Owned Vehicles AND have the thankless task of having to perform Safety Inspections of the vehicles and certify the Taximeters used by Boise’s City Regulated Taxi Fleets.

    It’s a miracle they accomplish all that they do!

  2. So who would you suggest doing the work? To get such a large scale job done in a timely fashion would require a fairly large company. Gem State Communications is the only one in the area that is doing similar work, but they have plenty of work as it is…

    EDITOR NOTE–You are correct LJ. Nobody does it around here. Ironic don’t ya think that Boise City spends a ton of money and staff trying to ATTRACT businesses and then sends work for the city out of state because no one does the work locally?
    Hint, there may be a market for outfitting cop cars in Idaho.

  3. Greenies that support this ethanol crap are reaaaaaaaaaaaally naive.

    The real power behind ethanol is not, IMHO, greenies. It’s the Farmer Welfare Queens. They do leverage greenies in pimping this stuff though. Meanwhile, the rest of us pay more for gas, more for food, and do more net damage to our planet because of this garbage.

    I love the environment, but I am sooooo tired of greenies that get sucked into stupid ideas, far overstate their case, and have kooks like Al Gore talking about the End of Days like some kind of cult leader. Greenies really need to wise up.

  4. Tom Anderson
    Jul 24, 2008, 9:48 pm

    Maybe our local government could build up a big shop to service all of these vehicles and then sell it off to a private investor.

    Isn’t that what government is supposed to do, …take on big projects for the common good.

  5. Lets outsource some other stuff as well. I bet I could get it cheaper by sending the cars to China, and while we are at it lets send the 911 dispatch center to India. Even the cops could be outsourced by using UN troops. Laugh a little folks, would ya!!!

  6. Looking at the e85 emblem
    Jul 25, 2008, 6:36 am

    makes me think of all the 200 miles per gallon carburetors in the back pages of popular mechanics.

  7. Does the $7,000 include the cost of the equipment or just the labor?

  8. James Bond, Just blame Clinton and get over the greenie thing. The big gubermint ethanol fiasco was promoted by the Bush administration
    along with Archer Daniel Midlands and Cargill. More welfare for farmers, support for Repubs. at taxpayer expense. Privatise profit, socialise expense. Make capitalisim communistic like they did in China. If you like it, vote Republican.

  9. I agree that the Bush Administration has been complicit in the ethanol scam. That was sort of an implied point of aiming my finger at the Farmer Welfare Queens. However, it is also true that some greenies have been complicit in it as well. There are a lot of regular folks who think “biofuels” are green. They are not. Thus, in my view, Greenies need to back away from this stuff and be real aggressive in divorcing the concept of biofuels as solutions to environmental problems. The Farmer Welfare Queen Lobby has used triangulation very effectively in this regard.

  10. The $6k is probably for equipment and the installation labor. Question? Custody cages, flashlights, modems, radios, computers, light bars and all the other do-dads …why aren’t they recycled from the old cars to the new one’s? Sand blast the steel stuff and a poweder coat and it is good as new. Unscrew the light bars and put them on the new unit. Most, if not all, that cop stuff could be used for more than the life of a single car.

    Better yet, why are the cops in Boise still using a car that Ford wants to quit making? Citizens can no longer purchase a Crown Victoria. Can you say gas-guzzler.

    Somebody has to bust a move to a smaller more fuel efficient car for police patrol duty. Think Chevy Impala..20+ MPG in the city. Eastern cities have already started making the switch. Front wheel drive has proven safer in inclement weather and the cost per mile of operation speaks for itself.

    How many times is all that horsepower and speed actually used to protect and serve the citizens of any city? It is time to rethink the role of police patrol vehicles.

  11. Paul, not bad comments, but In my experiance…limited … dont think the police package Impala does any better than the crown vic. Anyone have any info in the police package Dodge Charger/magnum that ISP and other agencies are using?

    Also, not all of the equipment work from one unit to another…cages may or may not. Also I believe the new radios for the new system cost over 3K (the 700 system). Thats a substantial chunk if they cant be salvaged out of another car (as in is there one available to salvage out of…most old ones go into “reserve” and still need radios.

    On a side note, many of the lightbars in use by BPD are already very old (I remember seing that style 13 years ago). The advance of LED technology (3rd gen now???) results in a lightbar that drains (much much much) less on the cop car that the rotator and bulb based light bar most of BPD uses currently, actually resulting in less wear and tear and less workload on the alternator. Where is the mechanic on here, doesnt that indirectly effect fuel eff. as well?

    Also Paul, I think the concept that the Cop Package has “Cop tires, Cop Engine, Cop suspension” etc as something for speed is old and outdated. I remember reading an article that most of the heavier upgrades in cop cars today were for the daily near constant use and stop and go, far more than what we do to our own private vehicles, not for speed. In fact the gear head joe citizen could milk more speed out of a base package for less cost that the cop package, if he knew how to spend his $$ doing it and speed was his only concern. This was some years ago.

    Whiskey Tango, I believe that the FD has their own mechanics for the large fire units.

  12. As final comment paul, I dont think there is anything bad about the Impala..or your idea, just dont think that its going to be a huge improvement you say it is…since I have driven both some years ago in another life.

    Also I need to correct myself, cops used to use a high performance tire for safety and liability….dont know if thats still the case.

  13. Nemo, I checked out the Impala on the GM website and the police package Impala gets 19 city and 25 highway for mileage. The Crown Vic was about 13 city and 19 highway. This amounts to about $2k/year savings on fuel at 20,000 miles a year and $4/gallon for fuel.

    The Crown Vics are going go away, the sooner we shift to a more fuel efficient vehicle the better.

  14. It takes some serious time and money to fit out an emergency vehicle. Our rigs have new led warning systems, 3 different radios, internet capability, gps, cell and satelite phones, even a joystick to operate the bumper mounted sidewinder but all of that is done in our shop. As for the old style light bars, its now a DOT Regulation that all emergency vehicle must have amber warning lights facing to the the rear of the vehicle, some of the older light bar can be modified but the post above is correct the newer led light bars are the most power efficient and easier maintained I might add.

  15. Hummers are cheap now and the extra fuel used would be off set by the savings in the purchase price. You have to respect a cop in a Hummer. How are the bad guys going to react to a cop in a Ford Focus? Paleeze people. Terrorists 1, citizens 0, on this one.

  16. First and foremost, I would have to say hats off to the folks employed at City of Boise’s “Fleet Services.” Those people work hard and have done an outstanding job with all the crap that’s been thrown at them. When the chips are down, they are the ones who work to take up the slack and continue on with maintaining the city’s fleet. I might also add if you want to really know the in’s and out’s of the city’s fleet, talk to the employees themselves, not just their new leader.

    They had a machine that wasn’t broken, it just needed some oiling….. (i.e. more help, not subletting the work to outside/neighboring states). The true cost may never be known as to how much $$ was spent sending those cars to Oregon. And on top of that the costs associated with Oregon vs. Fleet Services doing it should have been compared as “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges.” Where are the numbers that Boise’s “Fleet Services” would have charged for the same items parts/labor that Oregon used.

    Here is some food for thought… when one of those new cars equipped in Oregon breaks or needs warranty, will the City foot the bill or just wait out the downtime while a person from Oregon comes to fix the problem. I would tend to think rather than sublet the cars out and throw $$ away, why not hire some help for the Fleet Services folks (i.e. qualified auto and truck technicians.. mechanics to the older folks). I have an idea, instead of spending the $$ in Oregon, why not hire an above mentioned technician to help get the cars out quicker. Not only would that keep the $$ in Idaho but you would have another full time employee who could work the other 10 months of the year to help reduce the burden of too many vehicles and not enough help.

    The city is growing there is no doubt but if the track record keeps on the path it’s going, the city will have to drive out of state to get any work done because the jobs will be subleted. As far as the “effecient” Impala’s they may be cheaper to drive but when you consider the maintence and repair bills, the Crown Vic wins hands down… just check the internet sites. When it comes to gas savings… why not cut down on the city vehicles I see passing me on the freeway at 8:00 a.m. and when going home. These are plain white vehicles with city logos (when they are not covered by a white magnet) and vehicle numbers on the front hood and back right corner which have no cop lighting and do not say anything about emergency on them. You can spot them all over after 5 pm …. I’ve seen them everywhere, from the Wendy’s drive thru with what appeared to be family members to the Walmart parking lot at 10:30 in the evening.

    Why are we taxpayers paying for someone’s gas and wear and tear to drive a car home when I have to drive myself to work and pay for my gas and repair bills. Or is this just a perk for being a city employee…. I don’t know what the city pays for gas but I would tend to think this single item if policed properly could save the city of Boise alot of $$. I do not have all the answers nor do I claim to. I do have suggestions and I would recommend to those who complain to do so as well. It is amazing how much the taxpayers don’t know about how the city really is and just where their tax dollars are going.

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