Police seek $900K for vehicles

LIHUE — The Kauai Police Department is requesting nearly $900,000 from the County Council to lease 15 marked patrol Ford Explorers.

KPD wants to lease the vehicles as part of a three-year strategic replacement plan, according to a memo from Darryl Perry, chief of police.

Each new patrol vehicle will cost about $50,000 to $55,000. The total cost is anticipated to be $178,000 per year, for five years, according to the memo.

“The plan is to remove older vehicles that outlived useful life,” said Robert Gausepohl, assistant chief of KPD.

Because the purchase isn’t budgeted, KPD needs council approval. The County Council is expected to discuss the request on Wednesday.

The standard life of a patrol car is seven years, but that number can vary, depending on how often it’s used and what condition it’s kept in, Gausepohl said.

“Officers in Waimea and Hanalei, they put more miles on their car because they travel more,” he said. “We really don’t want a vehicle responding to a life or death emergency to break down on the way.”

The cars that get replaced are then scrapped, Gausepohl said.

The lease purchase comes with the understanding that no additional vehicles will be budgeted in the next fiscal year, according to the memo.

After the three-year period is up, the department will evaluate the need to annually replace the vehicles.

Perry is also seeking $40,500 for phase I of an expansion project, to make room for an increase in personnel who use the office.

More people are working in the Chief’s Office, at Ka Hale Makai O Kauai, after the Office of Professional Standards was created. That office is made up of investigators who handle internal affairs matters and accreditation.

As part of the renovation, Perry hopes to create additional office space by expanding into the Investigative Service Bureau. Movable privacy walls will be used to create the space, which can be reconfigured as needed, according to the memo.

The funds, which are not budgeted, will come out of KPD’s annual maintenance account. But the council needs to approve the request first.

Kauai County Council meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic County Building.


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