City to vote on new vehicles for police, fire chiefs

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- When responding to the scene of an accident or fire, it's usually easy to tell which vehicles belong to the police and fire departments. Now, Wednesday’s city council vote could make it easier to identify the fire and police chiefs.

Right now the police and fire chiefs drive their own vehicles when they have to respond to scenes. The city says Wednesday’s council vote could not only improve their response times, but also make the community safer.

The Grand Junction City Council approved the purchasing of two new emergency response vehicles-- one for the police chief, the other for the fire chief—at Wednesday’s meeting.

“[Their current cars] don't have a light bar; they can't get around traffic," city spokesperson Sam Rainguet said. "They don't have a specially marked vehicle to get where they need to get."

If the vote passes, the city will pay just under $58,000 for the two vehicles, and officials say it'll be cost-saving in the long run.

"Vehicle life is around 10 years, and this will definitely be a situation that pays off," she said.

The fire and police chiefs currently receive $350 per month to drive their own cars to the scene of accidents and fires. The city says a new SUV would give them the necessary tools and equipment to perform their duties, as well as travel for their jobs.

"Both of them are on some statewide committees, so they do a lot of travel out of town as well as in-town," Rainguet said.

The new Ford Explorers will also be equipped so police chief John Camper can use it on routine patrol, rather than taking a car out of the police fleet.

The city requested quotes from five different Ford dealers including Western Slope Ford in Grand Junction to purchase the new 2013 Ford Explorers. It heard back from two dealers, and the cheapest option ended up coming from Columbine Ford in Rifle.

The city also says the chiefs' new cars would be insured by the city, removing some of the liability the chiefs have with driving their own cars for work.

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