City council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve purchase of two 2020 Ford Explorer police vehicle for $49,294 each from Jorgensen Ford of Detroit.
The vehicles come with a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty and a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. They are expected to be delivered in June.
The base price is $36,539, with $11,855 of add-ons to be installed by Crouch Communication of Saranac. Next Level Graphics of Wheeler will provide the graphics for $900.
The Gratiot County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Doug Wright has almost completed a switch to Ford Explorers, Police Chief Richard J. Ramereiz Jr. said, and Wright raves about their low maintenance cost compared to Dodge Chargers. There was a “dramatic decrease in repair costs,” Ramereiz said.
Chargers are problematic for police work, Ramereiz added, due to their small size. For example, the “cage” between front seat and back seat reduces the distance that the seat can slide back to accommodate long-legged drivers.
The 2020 Ford Explorer fared very well in a recent police-run comparison with other police vehicles, as this You Tube video attests:
Car and Driver magazine has good things to say about the 2020 Ford Explorer, too:
The current St. Louis police fleet consists of five vehicles as follows:
2011 Ford Crown Victoria (109,000 miles)
This car is assigned to a part-time officer and a split-shift officer and used almost every day. The part-time officer hours vary each week, said Ramereiz via email. Typically, the part-time officer works 3-11 p.m. Sunday and fills in when a full-time officer is off. The split shift officer is full time and works varying shifts in the evening as a secondary officer. This officer typically works Tuesday through Friday or Wednesday through Saturday during the evening/early morning hours. Chief Ramereiz and Sgt. Kristi Forshee will also use this car for patrol purposes during the daytime if needed.
2014 Dodge Charger (85,000 miles)
This car is assigned to the full-time day shift officers and used every day. St. Louis has two full time day shift officers who work opposite days of each other.
2016 Dodge Charger (60,000 miles)
This daily driver is assigned to two full-time night shift officers who work opposite days of each other. Ramereiz and Forshee will also use this car for patrol purposes during the day if needed.
2005 Crown Victoria (141,000 miles)
This is an “administrative” car used to travel to and from training, court, meetings, etc. The code enforcement officer and building inspector also use this car during their duties and to travel to and from meetings and trainings. This car is also used at times as an extra vehicle during special events.
The new Ford Explorers are expected to replace the Crown Victorias. One Explorer will be assigned to the part-time officer and the split shift officer. The other will be assigned to the day shift officers. The 2016 Charger will continue to be assigned to the full-time night shift officers. The 2014 Charger will become the administrative car.