The Hillsborough Police will replace three marked police vehicles and retire three older, unmarked cars, under a vehicle replacement contract that is not to exceed $98,340.35.
The contract is with Warnock Fleet Sales and Leasing, of East Hanover, and the Township Committee unanimously approved it at its Dec. 28 meeting. It will provide replacement units for patrol units T-1, 607 and 611 and a radar unit for the T-1 replacement.
"The purchase of these vehicles continues the police vehicle replacement program and is recommended by our police chief," Mayor Frank DelCore said at the meeting. "The replacement vehicles will not add to the number of vehicles in the fleet. Three older, marked police units will be transferred to the unmarked fleet."
The new vehicles will replace three existing marked police cars and the marked cars will replace three unmarked cars. Each of the unmarked cars, units 620, 628, and 636, logged between 115,000 and 130,000 miles traversing Hillsborough roads.
The township intends to auction off the unmarked cars that are being replaced.
"The replacement helps protect police officers by ensuring they have safe, modern vehicles," Mayor DelCore said. "It reduces our maintenance costs as older vehicles that are more prone to break down are replaced and it also reduces fuel costs as new vehicles can obtain better gas mileage."
By replacing a few cars each year, the township hopes to avoid having a large number of vehicles break down at the same time—and needing to replace many broken vehicles in a single year, DelCore added.
"Police vehicles do accumulate 20 to 25 thousand miles on just normal usage," Committeeman Bob Wagner, liaison to the township's Public Safety Offices, said. "It's a lot of miles driven, a lot of idling as you see them at accident scenes, set up on the roadway. It's very important to continue with that (replacement). The three cars that we're purchasing will certainly continue moving us down that road to make sure we're replacing them as needed and not all of a sudden face. . . all of a sudden having to replace six, seven, eight, nine, 10 of them all at once."
The newer vehicles provide a better presentation to the community as well, since it allows residents to see officers in cars with current safety features and technologies, he added.
The replacement units will be purchased through the Cranford Police Cooperative Pricing System, a pricing cooperative that seeks competitive bids for police vehicles on behalf of member municipalities.
"We're able to leverage the buying power being a part of a buying group," Committeeman Carl Suraci, who is on the Finance Committee, said. "It's just another way of being able to save taxpayer dollars."