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Patrol car would be made possible with help of $20K air quality grant
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A Tesla Model 3 the Los Angeles Police Department has been testing. - photo by Photo Contributed

Could the next Lathrop police patrol unit be a Tesla?

With $20,000 in potential grant funding from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District available the Lathrop City Council will decide on Monday whether to move forward with plans to purchase a new Tesla Model 3 for Lathrop Police Services that would be used for patrol operations.

According to the staff report, the purchase would be contingent on securing the grant – which would offset the cost of the $44,876 electric vehicle to make it comparable to other patrol vehicles without the need for constant fueling.

The Lathrop City Council, which meets on the second Monday of the month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – will take the matter up when they meet on Monday, April 8, inside of the Lathrop City Council chambers at 7 p.m. 

The vehicle, which could very well feature parts manufactured in Lathrop given the company’s current facility and the nearly 800,000 square foot building that they just constructed behind the old Pilkington float glass plant on Louise Avenue, is believed to have a life of up to 500,000 miles and was selected because the slightly larger size makes it optimal for carrying more passengers and storing more of the equipment necessary for law enforcement use. 

Current plans call for the city’s new police station – which will be the first building constructed in the city solely for law enforcement use – to be constructed with the requisite charger that allows for the vehicle to be powered in a timely fashion. 

Several other police agencies that were contacted when researching the best possible models for law enforcement use informed the city that incorporated the Model 3 into existing fleets with no major issues, and the move cut down on annual maintenance and fuel costs. 

For additional information about the proposal, or to view the agenda or the items listed for Monday’s meeting, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.