Memo for fiscal year 2019, updated 2018-03-30

[Archived] Question #49: What is the fiscal impact of expanding the police departments Car Take Home program?


What is the fiscal impact of expanding the Police Department's Car Take Home Program?


The primary cost associated with expanding the Employee Vehicle Take Home Program in the Alexandria Police Department (APD) is the cost of a new vehicle and the cost of fuel and maintenance associated with that new vehicle. In the APD, to expand the take home program, new vehicles would be purchased and assigned to the operations program while an older unit from operations would be reassigned to the take home program. The cost of a new vehicle would be approximately $37,000 depending on the make/model purchased plus annual fuel and maintenance costs. An existing unit that would be transferred to the Take Home Program would still incur the cost of fuel and maintenance over the remaining life of the vehicle. An APD vehicle averages approximately $4,200 in maintenance and fuel costs annually, as well as $6,500 in depreciation charges annually which is accumulated and used to purchase a new vehicle at the end of a vehicle’s useful life. Therefore, the total maintenance, fuel and depreciation costs for one additional vehicle would be $10,700 per vehicle per year, which, including purchase price would total approximately $101,200 over the estimated six (6) year life of the vehicle. Again, these costs could vary.

These costs can vary based on miles driven and age of the vehicle. The City’s Administrative Regulations on the Use of City Vehicles (A.R. 7-3, Section G, Use of City Vehicles, Take Home Vehicles) currently allows for a maximum of 122 APD units to be designated as take home vehicles although the actual number of take home vehicles may change temporarily based on operational requirements. The assignment of take home vehicles is based upon operational need and the analysis of the benefit to the community for the marked take home vehicle (In-City). For this reason, the priority to take home vehicles becomes a bifurcated issue between In-City and Out-of-City vehicles. This allows for flexibility in how these vehicles are prioritized and how they are assigned. Currently the APD has 116 vehicles assigned to the take home program; 62 of these are a part of the In-City program and there is a waitlist of roughly 8 people that would like to partake in the program. Due to the current fleet size, adding vehicles to the take home program would require an increase in the number of vehicles in the fleet. The operational readiness and preparedness needs to be the utmost priority when considering the expansion of the APD take home program. APD would not recommend increasing the take home program without increasing the number of vehicles in the fleet. Such, an increase was not an internal APD request this year made to the City Manager, and if it was made it would not have likely been recommended as there were other areas (compensation, traffic safety unit officers) which had a higher priority.

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