The Cape Coral (Fla.) Police Department will receive 40 Dodge Charger Pursuit patrol cars to replace existing vehicles that all have more than 100,000 miles.

Police Chief Jay Murphy said the replaced patrol cars will be sold on an online auction site. The City Council approved the purchase of the new vehicles earlier this month.

The city's Mayor John Sullivan questioned the need to purchase new vehicles and instead suggested that refurbishing the vehicles could be more cost-effective, but the police chief said that new police vehicles will be much more fuel efficient than the current models.

The city's Acting City Manager Steve Neff said the fleet services employees with the city already have a full workload, so replacing the vehicles would help benefit the police department and free up time to better service Public Works Department vehicles.

The total value of the equipment purchased is $2.1 million, according to city records. The city issued an RFP for a lease purchase finance deal, and a budget amendment is required for the purchase. The city stated that the associated annual debt service will be covered by the additional $440,000 included in the FY-2012 capital equipment reserve fund.

The vehicle purchase would "piggyback" on awards made by organizations such as the State of Florida, Florida Sheriffs Association/Fire Chiefs Association, City of Tallahassee, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and National Joint Powers Alliance.

The City Council decided to go with a leasing agreement for the new vehicles, as of a recent city council meeting.

By Greg Basich

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