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Posted on Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Will Saline residents see police in a Chevy Tahoe rather than a Ford Crown Victoria?

By Lisa Allmendinger

Interim Saline Police Chief Mike Lindman has a request for a new patrol car for the police department on Monday night’s City Council agenda.

He’s chosen a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe at a total cost of about $33,580, which includes specialized police equipment.

His memo states that the department has historically replaced its oldest patrol car each year and because Ford ceased manufacturing the preferred Crown Victoria model in March of 2011, he could not find one that matched the color of Saline’s fleet. Lindman wants to replace a 2008 Crown Victoria with more than 115,000 miles on it.

According to his report, there are a limited number of “pursuit rated” patrol vehicles in the market and they include the Ford Explorer and beginning with the 2013 models, the Ford Taurus, as well as the Dodge Charger, and the Chevrolet Impala, Caprice and Tahoe.

He said the Impala is made in Australia and there is a 7-month wait, which left the remaining choices when he did a cost comparison.

The car would be paid for through the police department budget that has $29,500 for the purchase of a new patrol car and $5,700 for equipment.

Although a Lansing dealer provided the lowest bid price for the vehicle, Lindman is recommending the bid from Crispin Chevrolet of Saline that was $505 higher. He based his decision “on known good service and the convenience of working with a local dealer.”

In addition, he is recommending the second low bidder to outfit the car, this time based on a closeness for service of the specialized police equipment. The low bidder was Alert from Portage, Mich., and he states in his memo “the distance for service is a concern.” Priority One of Livonia had the second lowest bid, which was about $230 more.

Also on the agenda are the renewal of on-premise liquor licenses for the Saline American Legion, Maplewood Lanes, Dan’s Downtown Tavern, Brecon Grille, Ruby Tuesday, Mac’s in Saline, Biwako Suchi and Mangiamo. All of the establishments are in compliance with local ordinance requirements and the city has raised no objections to the renewals.

And before the regular meeting at a work session, the rehabilitation and modernization of the city’s wastewater treatment plant will be the focus of a discussion. It’s expected that later in the evening, the City Council will vote on a $19,800 contract proposal by Tetra Tech to study plant operations.

The study “will identify causes, implications, and the extent of existing deficiencies and provide options and opinions on construction costs,” while developing a priority list for funding, the agenda item reads.

Any future projects would be included in the fiscal year 2013 budget and would be funded through the wastewater treatment plant replacement fund that currently has about $1.9 million annually in reserve funds.

The work session begins at 6:30 p.m. at Saline City Hall in the council chambers, and the regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

For more Saline stories, visit our Saline page.



Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

Well 1st of all how much of a car chase can you get into within the City of Saline?.Outlying Law Enforcement agencies will respond to help.Chev Tahoe good choice alot of room perfect for K9,4WD.Dodge Charger bad visibilty out of interior windows,worse on fuel mileage unless they buy the V6,The word,Ford has the Ford Taurus Police Special.If you have ever looked in the trunk of a Patrol car?..With all the electronics,the Officer(s) can barely put they're personal/department bag in,plus many do not have room for a spare tire.Chev Tahoe is the best choice.Keep it local Chief Lindman.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

At first I thought this was not a crime story. I have changed my mind. Can that big GM SUV catch a Dodge Charger through a highway cloverleaf like US 23 at Washtenaw Ave? They call that a 'Pursuit Vehicle'? Now that is a crime.

Fat Bill

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

A department the size of Saline often requires officers to wear many hats, and to carry with them a variety of equipment and items. A few months ago, I was talking with a state trooper who was also a SWAT specialist. His sergeant had kicked him out of his Tahoe and placed him in a Crown Victoria. He had his trunk and back seat so full of items that if he made and arrest, the bad guy had to ride in the front passenger seat! He coudn't even carry a spare tire. As for pursuits, these are uncommon in a small town like Saline and frowned upon by most risk managers. If the pursuit is going faster than the police edition Tahoe it is likely that other means will be utilized to stop it, like spike strips for which there will be plenty of room in the tahoe to carry...

Fat Bill

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

"an arrest", not "and arrest"!


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Lets hope they make the right choice for Chief and hire Dieter Heren.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

No doubt the Democrat Mayor Driskell and Democrat Councilman Marl steered the Chief to buy from Obama's Government Motors instead of Ford (the last American car company). Get ready Saline we are headed to being a colony of Ann Arbor.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

Regarding fuel economy, and the fact that Saline does have a master plan that talks about sustainability and being green (which they are doing well with, noting the LED lighting and the recycle bins downtown) the economy of the Charger, and the similar sedans, would be in the 20s not the teens as the Tahoe. I would imagine the Council will consider this and there must be a reason for the choice. I am glad to see they are thinking about local investment and maintainability long term when purchasing, and spending $500 over the low bidder to chose someone who is local.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Oh come on now, we all know the Tahoe looks better in a parade.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

I'm curious why this is news? Don't law enforcement agencies replace cars all the time?


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

I think a Tahoe would give drivers in Saline a sporting chance. The Saline PD hide real well with the present fleet, and I find the Chargers to be almost invisable because they sit so low. A giant old fashioned light bar would be nice also.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

Wondering the value of SPD doing radar enforcement at 5:30AM on Maple Road and Woodland.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

The Chevy Tahoe is a great choice for a patrol vehicle. In regards to gas mileage, the estimated mileage in the city for the Tahoe is 15 miles per gallon. The Crown Victorias gets 14 mpg in the city. I understand public perception is an area of concern in regards to gas mileage, but the research shows they are about the same. Also, research suggests that departments are able to keep the Tahoe's on the road longer because of durability. I know officer's enjoy driving the Tahoe's more because they have more room inside. Officers spend 8-12 hours a day in the patrol vehicle (obviously not the entire time), but they are in them a lot, and they enjoy being a little more comfortable. Modern patrol vehicles, including Saline, are equipped with a computer, radar unit, a camera, several long gun racks, printers, legal books, several radio's, emergency switches, modems, and more. All of this equipment cramps the space available for the officer to work. When I have talked to officer's that ride in the Tahoe's, all of them have said that if they had their choice, they would ask the department to buy all Tahoe's. They like the room inside and sitting higher than some other vehicles (officer safety). Of course, just because they want it, does not mean they should automatically get it. However, in this case, there is benefit's for the department, so it makes sense. There are a lot of police departments using Tahoe's (Washtenaw County Sheriff, Chelsea, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ann Arbor....just a few I can think of). Lastly, hats off to the interim Chief for buying local! It would be one thing if local was a huge difference financially, but it's not in this case. Plus there is the added benefit if something is wrong with the vehicle, the shop is right down the road.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

It is nice to see that someone is looking at overall value" rather than simply lowest price.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

The article is incorrect. The CAPRICE is a cop-only vehicle made in Australia off a GM-Australia (Holden) chassis. I have only seen one Australian Caprice in operation. It looks something like the Impala but is a completely different car. It's called the Caprice PPV - - <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The current Impala is made in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

How about following the example of many other police agencies and going with something that uses less gas than this big gas guzzler?

Jimmy McNulty

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

I see the chief's point of spending the extra money to support a local business that has a higher price, but he needs to realize that this is a bid process and it is not his own personal purchase.

the leprachaun

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

Dodge Charger would look real sharp for the SPD. And also its cheaper than that slow Tahoe. Lastly don't we already have an 2006 Explorer SUV for specialized equipment?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

The chargers have terrible visibilty all around and are very cramped inside once you put all the equipement in. Not to mention that have one of the most uncomfortable drivers seats that I have ever sat in (atleast in the police version) The Tahoes PPV's on the other hand have plenty of room, good visibilty and are no where near as slow as you would think, lol


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

The Dodge Charger's do look sweet, but they are a little smaller inside. Officers I know have complained about the small windshield with visibility. Officers I have talked to in various police departments have said that everyone wants to drive the charger at first because it's a cool car. But, after driving it, it quickly makes its way down to the rookie because of space and blind spots.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

The Michigan State Police annually conduct thorough evaluations of &quot;pursuit rated&quot; vehicles and have posted the 2012 results (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> on their website. Looking at the results shows that the Tahoe is typically the slowest vehicel in most comparisons, and also a relatively poor performer in most categories. They are curretnly replacing the Crown Vics with Dodge Chargers based on the test resluts, with the Tahoe as a second choice, primarily for Motor Carrier use. I would think that for substantially less money the objective of &quot;pursuit rated&quot; could be reached with many of hte other vehicles in their test packet. But then again, what do the Michigan State Police know about pursuit and police vehicles? They have only been in the business for over 100 years. Don't live in Saline or pay taxes there, but just sayin' . . .

Common Sense

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Wow, only 115,000+ miles on the old police car! I think in these tought economic times we should at least keep this car for another year or two unless this car is absolutely unsafe. The City should lead the way in being frugal in this regard. Since we have only an Interim police chief, why not wait until the new chief is in place and let him/her make this decision on spending OUR money.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

not to mention they idle for extended periods of time. 115k on a cop car is closer to 300k on a regular passenger car.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

115,000 miles on a police car is not like 115,00 miles on your or my car.That is 115,000 miles of constant stopping and going , starting constantly etc...They have much more electronics than a normal car.115,000 miles are 115,000 of ROUGH miles on a police car


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

Off topic here, but I'm curious as to why the Impala is made in Australia.Do they work cheaper than Mexicans ( sorry,I'm not trying to un PC here )? I've always thought labor costs were the main reason for jobs being sent out of state/country.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

Henry Ford stopped making Ford tractors in Dearborn in 1928. He started making them in Ireland and then England. There is a long tradition of outsourcing..


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

See my post below. The Impala is not made in Australia, the Caprice is.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

@ Jimmy......You must be correct.I googled it and the car is made in Detroit.That's still pretty darn sad though.I hadn't thought of that

Jimmy McNulty

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

It may sound odd, but it is probably just where the company is located who does the conversion/customization of police units.