Replacing Oklahoma Highway Patrol vehicles sooner could pay off for agency, lawmaker says

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol doesn't replace vehicles until they have as many as 175,000 miles on them. Replacing them at 80,000 miles would bring a better price when they sell them and would reduce maintenance costs by getting rid of the high-mileage vehicles.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: October 12, 2012
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Hickman said the patrol strips its cruisers and sells them at auction, where they usually are sold for about $2,000.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Pete Norwood said his agency equips its cruisers with the best radars, cameras, radios and other equipment. His agency likes to sell the cruisers when they reach 80,000 miles but with the equipment left intact.

Police and sheriff's departments then would have a fully equipped law enforcement vehicle, which would be a selling point, he said. He expected the cruisers could sell for about $28,000, or about half the price the state invested in the vehicle and equipment.

Hickman said the patrol also would save money by replacing the vehicles sooner. Maintenance costs are about $6,000 for vehicles in the first 80,000 miles and about $12,000 for vehicles that log an additional 80,000 miles.

Hickman said the higher sale prices for the patrol vehicles along with reduced maintenance costs should generate enough money to make the patrol's cruiser program self-sustaining. It also could raise enough money to allow the patrol to go back to black-and-white cruisers. The state went to solid black or white vehicles in 2010 to save $800 a vehicle as a way to deal with budget crunch brought on by declining state revenues.

Many troopers would like a return to the black-and-whites, he said.

“Just the visibility to the public seeing that black-and-white car on the highway, when you see that vehicle pull up on a scene you know that the best of the best has arrived,” Hickman said.



Just the visibility to the public seeing that black-and-white

car on the highway, when you see that vehicle pull up on a scene you know that the best of the best has arrived.”

Rep. Jeff

Hickman

R-Fairview

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