Four 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles sit in front of the Granite Shoals Police Department. After internal video surveillance systems are installed, these vehicles will be ready to hit the road. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Four new vehicles were picked up by the Granite Shoals Police Department on July 5 after a nine-month wait. These are the first replacement vehicles the department has received since 2018.
“When an officer is responding to an emergency, they can’t be wondering if the vehicle or the equipment in it is going to work or not,” Police Chief Gary Boshears said.
According to Boshears, some of the vehicles being replaced are as old as 2013 models. Rising maintenance costs and fatigued electronics are the prime reasons the department sought new vehicles. Ideally, the department would get new vehicles each fiscal year, but budget constraints have led to a three-year delay in replacements.
“We’ve had guys going to in-progress calls and all the lights and sirens shut off because of an electrical issue with the vehicle,” Boshears said. “We’ve got to keep our officers in reliable vehicles so they can better serve our citizens.”
The new vehicles are 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utilities, which are specially made police variations of the Ford Explorer. The price tag on a kitted-out 2022 Police Interceptor Utility is $69,400. Boshears stated that the vehicle was cheaper than the alternative, a Chevy Tahoe, and his officers have appreciated Ford vehicles in the past.
The funds for the new patrol vehicles come from a certificate of obligation held by the city of Granite Shoals for $1 million. The funds from this certificate were designated for capital equipment, which included the four new patrol vehicles. According to Boshears, this certificate will be paid off over a five-year period.
The vehicles arrived with almost all of the necessary equipment installed. At the time of this story’s publication, the department is waiting on an internal video camera system to be installed by a third party. The patrol vehicles should be on the road by late July.
It took nine months for the vehicles to be delivered, which is roughly two to three months longer than normal. Boshears cited supply chain issues and delays on specific equipment for the delay.
“Four cars is a lot, and that takes care of a lot of the need,” he said. “But because we’ve been behind on replacing vehicles, we still have a need to replace more in the upcoming year.”