By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Christmas is coming early for the Durham Regional Police.
During it’s final meeting of the year, council gave the go-ahead for the police service to purchase 45 vehicles, with a spending limit of no more than $1.54 million, ahead of the 2018 budget.
The 45 new vehicles will replace older equipment that have reached the end of their economic lives, according to a staff report, and will include 31 marked cruisers, six unmarked sedans, four unmarked trucks, and two unmarked vans and SUVs.
By getting approval ahead of budget delibrations, staff rationalize that DRPS can get a head start on scheduling purchases and have the vehicles equipped and on the road by summer.
The request was puzzling to at least one member of council, Shawn Collier of Ajax.
“They say the replacement requirement is five years or 160,000 kms. That doesn’t seem to be a lot,” Collier said, adding he believes the older vehicles “are not at the end of their useful life if we see them as taxis or security vehicles.”
However, Oshawa Councillor Bob Chapman explained the replacement requirements are set out in the Police Services Act of Ontario, not by the regional service itself.
Chapman, a member of the region’s Police Services Board and former DRPS officer, said it is important to keep in mind police vehicles are on the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They may be low mileage but a lot of it is city start and stop (driving),” Chapman said.
Although the request was supported, Collier said it may be beneficial in the future to have a representative of DRPS present to answer questions.