Some of the Guthrie city council members said replacing additional police units is necessary for the Guthrie Police Department, but the current time is not the right time.
Last week, with a 2-3 vote, the council declined the purchase of two 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV’s for the police department.
Council members Jeff Taylor and Jason Smedley voted yes to purchase, while council members Brian Bothroyd, Jim Case and Ed Wood each voted no. Councilman Sharyl Padgett and Mayor Steve Gentling were absent on the Sept. 18 meeting.
The cost for each Tahoe came in at $37,001 and were to be packaged with emergency equipment at $27,580 per unit. The total cost was at $129,162 and would have been funded through the City of Guthrie’s Capital Improvements Project (CIP).
“We all want to see that rotation program start,” Case said. “I’m not sure this is the time to do that, but it’s got to start sometime, I suppose. We need to get some more tangibles under our belt on the CIP and let people see some progress in the community. We are two million dollars on cop and fire equipment right now.”
The Guthrie Police Department has been fighting fleet issues for years, but are hopeful they can retain a healthy fleet rotation.
In December 2016, council approved the purchase of 10 police units (2017 Tahoes) at $720,330.00 through the CIP. Each unit had a breakdown of $36,198 for the vehicle and $ 35,835 for the emergency equipment.
Fire Chief Eric Harlow, spoke on the matter to the council for Police Chief Don Sweger who was too ill for the meeting, said seven of the current vehicles in the fleet has anywhere between 160,000 and 225,000 miles.
“The problem is we buy a bunch, then we don’t buy and then all of a sudden we have to buy a bunch again. They’re (GPD) trying to establish so many per year and stay on a rotation,” Harlow added.
The council did approve (4-1 vote with Case voting no) to purchase a 2019 Ford F150 Responder for the police department utilizing the Oklahoma State Contract.
The cost of the F-150, includes $39,685 for the unit and $26,340 for emergency equipment, was approved for a total $66,025 and will be funded with CIP money.
In February 2016, Guthrie voters approved a three-quarters sales tax with a 15-year (June 30, 2031) sunset clause for capital improvements.