Shawnee Police Dept. set to buy 15 Dodge Chargers

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Police lights

This week Shawnee City Commissioners gave its OK to the police department to purchase 15 Dodge Charger Pursuit Sedans.

The cars will be purchased from Bob Howard Chrysler Jeep Dodge at the state bid price of $26,135 each.

This is the vehicle price only.

SPD will also outfit them with added equipment.

“When we order the equipment ourselves and complete the installs, we will save approximately $4,000 each,” Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson said.

“We have recently lost several vehicles due to suspects hitting and permanently disabling our vehicles,” he said. “These were not our newest vehicles, but they were vehicles we intended to keep for a few more years.”

The SPD has received some compensation from insurance, but most insurance companies will not cover an illegal act, he explained.

“(Our damaged vehicles) are worth more to us on the street than what we get — we're getting about $13,000 back — it's not even enough to buy a new vehicle,” Wilson said. “If we can use them for a few more years we're kind of at a loss in collecting insurance.”

The SPD has done a search for used police vehicles, but he said there are none available nationwide.

He said among options are Ford SUVs, Chargers, Tahoes, Durangos and Dodge pickups.

“We could not find any new police SUVs available,” he said, “and ordering them will take six months.”

The vehicles requested are the only ones currently available.

“What we can get our hands on now are the Dodge Chargers,” he said.

An added bonus, Wilson said, is SPD will save $7,000 per vehicle by purchasing the sedans instead of the intended Durangos.

Commissioners unanimously approved.

The cost is budgeted out of the current public safety sales tax, he said.

Wilson said the SPD currently has about 73 vehicles in its fleet.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.