Thursday, February 02, 2006

Just one small example of the absolute waste of tax dollars?

A Letter to the Editor printed in the Hartford Courant today:

Police Cruisers Collecting Dust
February 1, 2006

In response to the Jan. 30 article about the state police [Page 1, "Fray Over Fleet; Troopers Union Criticizes Wait For New Cruisers"]:

There are actually two stories in this article: One has to do with poor acquisition practices, the other has to do with poor evaluation of disposal.

In reading the article, one might infer that the police cars are shot at 100,000 miles. Far from being the case, retired police cars are sold at auction as being roadworthy. They are often purchased for livery service, where they continue to run for additional tens or hundreds of thousands of miles.

No doubt, the described procurement of new vehicles that just sit in holding yards is wasteful, but there is not a good case for panicking just because a vehicle hits 100,000 miles. A more commercial approach should be taken to vehicle acquisition and evaluation regarding disposal. I don't think you will find commercial fleets being operated so inefficiently.

Christopher P. Bertellotti
New Britain [Connecticut]

Millions of dollars could be saved by keeping cruisers longer and rebuilding engines and putting in rebuilt transmissions.

The service life could be 300,000 miles.

Taxi company use the same cars and put 500,000 or even up to one million of miles on these cars and get them sometimes in horrendous condition to excellent condition from police departments after 100,000 miles of use and sometimes much more.

The front wheel drive Chevrolet Impala type cars, a mid-size vehicle, gets great mileage, maybe twice that of the gas pig, somewhat unreliable, rear wheel drive, Ford Crown Victoria, a full size vehicle, a more reliable mid-size car could also save taxpayers millions.

-Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas

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