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New police department patrol fleet costs $491K
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The new Lathrop Police Department could end up with one the most state-of-the-art fleets of law enforcement vehicles of any agency in the area.

Next week the Lathrop City Council is being asked to consider a proposal by staff to purchase 11 new vehicles to build out the fleet that the new Lathrop Police Department will use to patrol the community – at a cost of $491,400.

The Lathrop City Council will meet on Monday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – to discuss the matter as well as other items on the agenda for the regularly-scheduled meeting.

According to the staff report prepared for the consent calendar item, the cost to purchase the vehicles was included in the recently-approved budget. The purchase price of the 11 vehicles – the proposal calls for the purchase of 8 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles and three Dodge Chargers – does not include the equipment that will have to be purchased separately and installed in order for them to be patrol ready.

And the Ford Police Interceptor Utility is not your standard patrol vehicle.

After working with representatives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Highway Patrol, Ford included features on its new police vehicle that are revolutionary – from a hybrid drivetrain intended to save gas when vehicles are idling to an optional state-of-the-art system that detects threats around the perimeter of the vehicle and notifies the occupants of the vehicle of the location of the potential threat.

If the vehicle is equipped with the police perimeter package and it is activated, the vehicle will automatically activate the backup camera, roll up all of the windows, and lock the doors in addition to alerting the officer inside – a new step towards safety.

The vehicle has also been designed to withstand a rear collision from up to 75 miles per hour – protecting officers who may be pulled over on the side of the road from rear-end collisions by motorists that veer off of the roadway.

Because the State of California has a master contract with auto manufacturers to outfit its own massive fleet, Lathrop is able to get that same price on the vehicles that it purchases – opting to go with Folsom Lake Ford for the purchase of the Police Interceptor Utility models and Elk Grove Dodge for the Charger models. Purchasing them through that existing contract also allows the city to bypass the competitive bidding process since another government agency has already purchased the same models at the same price.

Lathrop will be paying $45,300 each for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility models – for a total not to exceed $362,400 – and $43,000 each for the Dodge Charger police models for a cost not to exceed $129,000.

The cost to outfit the new vehicles with the necessary equipment will have to be approved by the council at a future date.

The new models will augment the existing police vehicles that Lathrop has already purchased and are currently being used by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office as part of the longstanding contract between the two entities.

Lathrop is currently planning on crossing over to its new agency next year when the contract with San Joaquin County is up – fulfilling a longstanding goal of having its own standalone police department. The agency will be housed in the new police department complex in River Islands.

To view the staff report or the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.