The Pueblo Police Department will soon purchase 27 new patrol SUVs following unanimous approval by City Council Tuesday night of nearly $1.5 million for the purchases.
Twelve brand-new Ford Interceptors will be bought using money from the Pueblo Public Safety Tax, a one-fifth-of-a-cent sales tax overwhelmingly approved by Pueblo voters in 2017. They will be assigned to newly-hired officers also funded by the same tax. The other 15 vehicles will be acquired via a lease-purchase agreement with money from the general fund and will replace vehicles nearing the end of their functional life span or those already decommissioned due to age, breakdowns, or crashes. At the end of the 66-month lease, the city will be able to purchase the vehicles outright for $1 each.
"These vehicles are pretty much run non-stop," said Pueblo Police Captain Brett Wilson. "They service many shifts and watches throughout the day." The vehicles essentially serve as a mobile office for the officers. Wilson says replacing decade-old Ford Crown Victorias with brand-new Interceptor SUVs will help to retain the current roster of officers and provide incentives during recruitment of new officers. "That kind of goes along with morale and having a better feeling about coming to work," Wilson said. "Rather than getting into an old, dirty car that some of the parts, the lights are coming on, some of the lights don’t come on that you need, some of the equipment is failing, causes frustration to the officers."
The Pueblo Police Department should begin receiving the new vehicles in September or October after they are fully equipped and painted.