By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
The Killeen City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the purchase of 15 new police cars officials say will help replace the Killeen Police Department's front line of patrol cars.
More than half of the $603,000 expenditure - $371,073 - will come from revenue generated by Killeen's seven red-light cameras. The rest of the expenditure was budgeted in KPD's capital outlay fund.
Since the installation of red-light cameras in 2008, the city has spent more than $900,000 billed to violators on police equipment, most notably police vehicles.
City Manager Connie Green said KPD has to routinely replace patrol vehicles in order to maintain an operating fleet.
"The patrol units run 24/7, so you try to replace them as often as possible," Green said.
Individual police cars are not allocated to single police officers. Patrol officers alternate driving police cars as one shift starts and another finishes.
The city will purchase the cars from Philpott Motors in Nederland. The 2010 Ford Police Interceptors come with a base price of $35,603 each. Each Crown Victoria will be outfitted with $4,600 in communications equipment.
The council also agreed to send certification reports to state and federal authorities to renew the department's seizure fund.
The fund draws revenue from cash and property gained by criminals as a result in committing crimes. The fund is dedicated towards the purchase of equipment that would otherwise not be in KPD's budget.
Notable equipment purchased with the seizure fund included a $160,000 crime- scene scanner used after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting.
The department received more than $73,000 from state and federal seizure funds during the previous fiscal year.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.