OCEAN CITY — Satisfied with the need, the Ocean City Council approved the purchase of two new police vehicles to the tune of around $57,000.
In January, the Mayor and Council had before them a request to purchase two vehicles for the OCPD that were included in last year’s Vehicle Trust budget but were ultimately cut because of a lack of available funding. Ocean City Procurement Manager Catrice Parsons at the time told the Mayor and Council she and Budget Manager Jennie Knapp had been able to find funding for the two new police vehicles through the State Aid for Police Protection grant.
However, the request was tabled in mid-January because it wasn’t clear from the proposal why the new vehicles were needed by the department and to which division they would be assigned. Two weeks later, the proposal came back to the council this time with OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro and Lieutenant Glenn McIntyre on hand to better explain why they are needed at this time. Knapp also explained why the vehicles were cut from the fiscal year 2019 budget last year.
“We are given a pot of money to try to accomplish everything that is needed and requested and no more,” she said. “Sometimes, that pot isn’t big enough.”
The two vehicle requests include a Chevy Impala at $22,0000 and a Chevy Equinox at $23,000. Also included in the request presented on Tuesday was $6,000 each for uplifting the stock vehicles with the appropriate police equipment, bringing the total to around $57,000. OCPD officials explained the new vehicles would be used by detectives in the Criminal Investigation Division. While the vehicles would be unmarked, they still need an uplifting of the appropriate police equipment.
When asked if there was an urgency to complete the sale at this time and not wait for the next budget cycle, Knapp explained utilizing the available state grants now could free up funds for other requests during budget time.
“The reason I want to do this now is to make room in the fiscal year 2020 budget for other requests,” she said. “Taking these vehicles off the list now allows us to do other things.”
For his part, McIntyre explained the timing was right for replacing the older vehicles, which had outlived their prime.
“From a maintenance standpoint, these vehicles have spent more time in the shop than in service,” he said. “We’ve had detectives stranded on trips when they’ve broken down. It’s really not worth putting any more money into them.”
The council voted 7-0 to approve the requested two police vehicles.