The Sunnyside City Council last night (Monday) approved the purchase of a new K-9 vehicle by a vote of 7-0.
Earlier this year council appropriated $52,200 for the vehicle, which includes $5,000 for a mobile data center and $5,200 for an in-vehicle video system.
Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder told the council his department began looking for a vehicle soon after the funds were appropriated, starting with the state bid program. The department was looking for a Chevy Tahoe but the state bid program had none in its inventory. In order to go this route Sunnyside police would have to wait until the 2011 models were made available. Radder told the council if there had been a Tahoe available the total price would have been $51,601. This price didn't include the mobile data computer or the radar. The new vehicles are not scheduled to be built until the second half of July and there is a minimum of 120 days for the build time.
An officer in the department heard about a source for K-9 vehicles in Whitesboro, Texas. The department inquired about the cost of a Tahoe and were quoted a total price of $49,221, which is $2,978 less than what was budgeted. With an additional charge of $550 to install a VHF radio the total price comes in $2,428 under budget.
A local Chevy dealer was contacted but the price for the basic package was higher than the state bid price and the Texas basic vehicle cost.
Radder said the department decided to go with a 2WD vehicle instead of the 4WD unit because the 2WD is lower to the ground, making it easier for the K-9 animal to enter and exit the vehicle.
The new K-9 police vehicle is expected to be on the streets within 50 days.