BARNEGAT – Barnegat’s Police Department recently announced the addition of two new Dodge Charger 5.7L Hemi vehicles to their fleet of police patrol vehicles. The new addition will begin the process of replacing the entire fleet with newer, more efficient, and more cost-effective vehicles, according to Chief Keith Germain.
“A few months back we tasked our resident vehicle expert, Patrolman Jim Purcell, with redesigning our marked patrol vehicles. Jim thoroughly researched vehicles, equipment, vendors, and costs,” stated Germain in a Facebook post, dated April 11.
Germain noted that the department plans to replace a minimum of 2 cars each year as part of a procurement plan to replace the vehicles while they are still under warrantee. They plan to replace 2 older, high-mileage vehicles with 2 of these newer models every year, a cost that is already incorporated into the township’s budget.
The issue with having older vehicles is that they endure a lot of wear and tear. “We put a lot of miles on cars,” he explained.
Germain said that the department wanted to reevaluate what they were putting into the vehicles, which has led them to “a great looking new car that is better equipped than our old design but with an extraordinary cost savings of better than 14 percent a vehicle,” as stated in the post.
The cost savings, per vehicle, will save the township more than $120,000 over the next decade and approximately $6,000 per vehicle. Purcell noted that the cost of each vehicle has gone from approximately $43,000 to only $36,000 with the switch.
Germain added that the cost savings stems from the switch to a new equipment vendor and a new equipment installer as well as the new, all-black vehicle. Having an all-black vehicle saves the department from sending out new cars for the traditional-looking black and white paint job, which can cost up to $1,500 per car.
In addition to these changes, Purcell said that the interior of the new vehicles are also equipped with some new technology.
The department has switched manufacturers to Soundoff Signal, for the lighting on the vehicles. Purcell said that the new vehicles are equipped with sirens with two different speakers and outputs that create the “illusion” of hearing two separate vehicles.
He also added that the new system is less expensive and easier to work with as it is not a “control box” but rather, a “control panel,” that doesn’t get dirty as easily and offers a variety of different lighting uses.
“We get a lot more with a lot more control, for a lot less,” said Purcell.
“I couldn’t be prouder or more impressed with the job that Patrolman Purcell did with this redesign,” said Germain in the post. He also thanked the DPW employees, specifically Charlie Coopey, for creating the graphics for the police department, and Eric Kramer, for applying them to the vehicles.