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North Branford Police Department to Propose Leasing Plan at Tonight’s Town Council Meeting

The North Branford Police Department continues to explore options in obtaining new police vehicles.

After its , the will approach the Town Council at with a proposal for leasing new vehicles instead of purchasing them.

Lieutenant David D’Ancicco made the presentation to the Police Commission at the Oct. 11 meeting and received positive feedback after the commission discussed the issue at its . He noted that the cost of leasing four cars over four years would cost approximately $30,000 a year.

“It’s not a traditional lease where you have to watch the mileage and at the end of the lease, the town can purchase the car for $1,” said D’Ancicco. “Plus there are no restrictions as far as equipment.”

D’Ancicco said there are several 2011 Crown Victorias available at area dealerships. Obtaining 2011 cars would allow the department to recycle some of the equipment from the cars leaving the fleet.

“This is the last year that the equipment will fit,” said D’Ancicco. “Recycling some of the equipment would obviously be a cost-saver as well.”

The presentation also includes scenarios for leasing different numbers of vehicles, though he chose to focus on four due to recent staff changes. Det. Ken McNamara retired on Sept. 16. The earliest his position will be filled is Jan. 26 due to the application process, testing and the police academy.

D’Ancicco reported that there will be about $24,000 in salary not paid from Sept. 16 to Jan. 26; plus as a new hire, the difference in salary will be $400 a month, with the two totaling about $30,000 after 2012.

“Year one of the lease will be paid for, but the Town Council would have to commit to the amount chosen, if any, over the next three years,” said D’Ancicco. “It’s a very low financial commitment to put four new vehicles on the road and it would really fortify an aging fleet that’s unreliable.”

D’Ancicco explained the cycle in which the department used its cars: new cars come in as patrol cars and then, at around 80,000 miles, those cars were cycled out of active duty and used as administrators’ vehicles or passed on to the Town Hall to be used as light-duty town cars. The police department was on a schedule of getting three cars one year and two cars the next, according to D’Ancicco, which allowed it to cycle out cars before the 100,000-mile mark.

Two years ago, in a year planned for two cars, the police department only got one of its two cars before receiving another thanks to a Department of Justice grant. In 2010, the NBPD expected three cars, making this year a two-car year; however, as of now, there has not been room in the budget for any new vehicles over the past two years.

“We haven’t cycled cars out in a while because the mileage is so high and it’s not cost-effective to fix at that point,” D’Ancicco said. “We’ve never had so many vehicles with high mileage at the same time. We have never gone down these roads [leasing] before because fiscally it wasn’t a consideration, but now that they’re looking to save in every way possible, it’s a nice alternative.

“The [Police] Commissioners liked what they heard so now the Town Council would have to be on board with appropriating the funds,” added D’Ancicco, who also noted other area towns including Madison have seen positive results through leasing vehicles. “If we do four, we’d be in fairly decent shape. The remaining cars would be halfway through their life, but we could get quite a few years out of them before they need major repairs.”

clint October 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM
boy does this guy like listening to himself talk

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