DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - The Duncan Police Department is looking at getting 10 new police cars this year to replace some old units, and put their new recruits on patrol. Tuesday night, the Duncan City Council approved the purchase of the patrol cars at a price of more than $250,000. The city's CIP sales tax funds are being used to cover the costs of the cars. This is the second wave of cars for the department, and at the end of the third year, they will have 30 new cars.
The department is getting their new recruits through training now, but in a month, they will be ready to hit the road on their own. But they need patrol units to do that. Now that 10 cars are coming their way this year, it will solve some problems the department was dealing with.
Duncan Police already feeling their fleet is being stretched thin with the new recruits coming in. Eddie Diaz is one of those recruits, and graduates the program in a month.
One of his fellow recruits who graduated earlier is doing what the force would be doing without a new fleet of patrol units coming in.
"What they are doing is sharing the vehicle, and leaving it parked at the police department," said Diaz. "And so he doesn't have a car basically. So we are just trying to share it, so we can keep cops on the street."
The department's plan for hiring these new officers is to cut down on patrol overtime.
"Duncan hiring new officers will give them some time so they can, not necessarily take a break, but so that they are not getting over worked," said Diaz. "That they have good work schedules."
Duncan City Manager Kimberly Meek says she has many meetings with the police department on the importance of keeping up with the units as the department grows.
"We are dedicated to providing our officers with the supplies that they need to keep us protected and safe," said Meek.
Meek says instead of buying a large amount of cars at one time, they are dividing the purchase up over three years.
Diaz says he and the department can tell the city is paying attention to their needs when serving the city of Duncan.
"They know that we have new guys that we're hiring," said Diaz. "They know that our vehicles are older and they are eventually going to have more maintenance issues so they are trying to definitely take care of the problem before it gets worse.
They start to get the new cars in by the end of the year. They will start to get rid of the '04 through '08 models that have a lot of miles on them from patrolling the streets of Duncan all those years.
The city manager says they will get one more batch of cars next year. She says with the positive response from the department, she can see the city continuing this method of purchasing cars for many more years.