City Council approves two new vehicles for Santa Paula Police Department

August 18, 1999
Santa Paula Police Department
The Santa Paula Police Department will welcome two new members to its ranks, the four-wheeled variety that is, after the City Council approved the purchase of new vehicles at the Aug. 2 meeting. According to the report by SPPD Chief Bob Gonzales, the $60,000 funding for new police vehicles was included in the 1999-2000 budget. His report noted that although the vehicle purchases have already been budgeted, “I am bringing this to City Council attention, an item that has already been approved, because of the possibility of themisperception within the community. If the price of the sport utility vehicle was not as low as it is, I would not recommend the purchase.”Historically, the SPPD has garnered savings on vehicle purchases through a state bid process that ensures low prices. “This year is no different,” noted Chief Gonzales, and the department benefitted from a low-low price on a new sport utility vehicle, as the “California Highway Patrol has ordered 500. . .”The police department will acquire a Ford Expedition SUV for the use of the Watch Commanders, who accrue less mileage. Justification for the department purchase of a four-wheel drive vehicle is the city’s proximity to river and creek beds.“The types of incidents that regularly take officers into riverbeds,” according to a memo by SPPD Commander Mark Hanson, are downed aircraft, fleeing suspects, off-road motorcycles trespassing and disturbing, off-road vehicle accidents, gunfire/shooters,
underage drinking parties, and crimes committed “by and against the homeless who live in the riverbed.”And, he added, the city floods on a regular basis during winter storms requiring occasional rescues. In addition, the cargo area is capable of carrying equipment such as tear gas, tactical shields, ammunition, an emergency generator and crime scene lighting.Aside from the Ford SUV, the department will purchase a Crown Victoria Sedan for patrol duty. The cost of the two vehicles will be about $58,000.

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