Truman faces squad car dilemma

TRUMAN– Police Chief Justin Jobe brought some information to the City Council on Monday regarding the 2015 Ford Explorer that’s slated to be replaced in 2023.

“The last one we bought was in 2018 and things have changed completely,” Jobe said, referring to the last squad care that was purchased.

He said that their ordering time is limited and that is new since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jobe said there are three vehicles that would be suitable from Chevy, Dodge or Ford and that he’s got bid prices from some and while he hasn’t yet heard back from all of the companies, he said it’s looking like they’ll all be around $42,000.

In addition to that, Jobe said the company they’ve used to upfit the squads for the last two squads has gone out of business and because they’ve changed the interior of the vehicle, whether they go with Ford, Chevy or Dodge, his cage or console will not fit.

“That’s probably going to be around that $15,000 mark,” Jobe said.

He said he’s talked to a company in Iowa that has a Chevy Tahoe available that said if something were to change for Truman, they wouldn’t hold the city to an agreement because they could sell the vehicle easily. Jobe said the vehicle and upfit would come in one invoice.

Jobe said he’ll try to get a USDA loan that’s based on population and median income. He said they’d qualify for a 15 percent grant, which would be about $9,000.

“Any little bit will help,” Jobe said.

Council Member Jake Ebert pointed out that the last squad they got was $32,000 and he suggested they look at using the vehicles for a longer span of time than seven years, as is the current rotation.

He also said that the fire department has started to look at used trucks and that some past or current members don’t like the idea of that.

“We have to do what we can afford,” Ebert said.

Jobe pointed out that a firetruck typically isn’t used as often as a police vehicle. Jobe also said he’s looked at a few sites that market used squad cars and couldn’t find any.

He said they have $20,000 in the 2022 budget for a new squad car and whatever they will budget for in 2023. The council talked about using some ARPA funds for it as well.

Council Member Patty Truax asked if there are any other grants they can apply for and Jobe said none that he knew of.

“If we are not locked into a contract, we can order and figure out how we can do this by the end of the year,” Council Member Brandon Mosloski said, referring to the Tahoe. He also agreed with Ebert that they should consider trying to use the vehicle for longer.

“Prices are going out the roof. We have to adjust something and I truly think we need to use things longer, not just a squad car, but everything,” Ebert said.

Jobe said that numbers for Dodge will come in around September and Ford in November or December. The council said by then they will have worked on the 2023 budget.

The council made a motion to move forward with the Chevy Tahoe, without any obligation, so if something changes they can back out and pursue an alternative option. Jobe said he would get the agreement in writing with the company he’s working with.


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