The Coweta Police Department officially has the OK to purchase four, hybrid SUV’s, thanks to a five-year, diligent effort by Chief Mike Bell.
The Coweta City Council approved the $213,397 purchase at the July 12 council meeting. $152,092 of it is for the vehicles, and $60,305 is for the police equipment inside.
The purchases are included in the fiscal year 2022 budget.
“When a car sits at an accident scene, for instance, and it’s running, it uses up a lot of gas and causes wear and tear on the motor,” Bell said.
It’s his reasoning for the hybrid model. In fact, Bell said the Coweta Police Department was one of the first states in Oklahoma to get hybrids about two years ago.
“With the hybrid and they’re sitting there, they just shut off and the lights will keep going,” he said. “When the battery runs out, the car will start back up, charge the battery and shut itself off again. We are saving on engine time, wear and tear on the motors and gasoline.”
The Coweta Police Department has a fleet of 19 police vehicles consisting of Dodge Chargers and Ford Explorers, according to Bell. The department currently has three vehicles with over 100,000 miles and three more vehicles that will surpass 100,000 miles this fiscal year.
The replacement of four vehicles will be following the developed long‐term fleet replacement schedule that will “enhance the protection of our officers and citizens through safer vehicles and lower risk of breakdowns.”
The vehicles will be purchased from Bill Knight Ford, in Tulsa.
Bell said the department purchased its first, hybrid police vehicle in 2020 and is more than happy with the results. He said next year the department will be looking at replacing five vehicles.
“We replace cars that get up to 100,000 miles because you have to factor in the maintenance and safety issues that come along with it,’ Bell said. “All of those reasons that come along with that outweigh the reasons to keep the car.”