Bucks County Herald

Hilltown Police want new patrol vehicle

CHRIS RUVO

The Hilltown Township Police Department is keen to upgrade its vehicle fleet.

At Monday’s board of supervisors meeting, township Police Chief Christopher Engelhart proposed a plan that would include the township purchasing a new, outfitted Chevy Tahoe at an approximate cost of $65,000 for the department.

The Tahoe would replace a Chevy Caprice, purchased in 2013, as a patrol vehicle.
Under the chief’s plan, the Caprice would roll into the department’s reserve fleet, which is typically used for nonpatrol functions, such as going to court or training, he said.

Meanwhile, a Chevy Tahoe that the department already owns would be retrofitted so that it could serve as the go-to vehicle on truck enforcement details, Engelhart said. The retrofitting would likely cost less than $15,000, the chief said.

Supervisors said they would need more time to consider the proposal before giving it the green light or not.

Supervisor Jack McIlhinney said that he thought the accepted practice was to retire a vehicle only after it had reached 120,000 to 130,000 miles. The Caprice, he noted, was only in the 70,000-mile range.

“I don’t agree that we have to put it in mothballs,” McIlhinney said.

Engelhart said a big factor in the need for a new patrol Tahoe is the fact that the Caprice is cramped once filled with all the necessary equipment and an officer in patrol gear.

“There are significant space limitations,” Engelhart said.

He further noted that it would benefit the department to have a particular vehicle designated for truck enforcement.

Supervisors are taking the proposal under advisement.




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