November 28, 2014


Elyria favors SUVs over traditional police cruisers

The Elyria Police Department is slowly moving away from cars in favor of more durable SUVs. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

The Elyria Police Department is slowly moving away from cars in favor of more durable SUVs. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — Police Department cars are becoming a thing of the past as the city is embracing larger sport utility vehicles as the vehicle of choice.

The city has 12 Chevy Tahoes in its police fleet and is looking to add seven more SUVs as well as two Chevy Equinox trucks and three Chevy Malibu sedans.

Police Chief Duane Whitely made the request for the funding Monday during the City Council Finance Meeting.

Roughly $160,000 would come from the department’s general fund and another $210,000 would come from the police levy fund.

The request comes in advance of the city’s annual budget discussions.

City Finance Director Ted Pileski said a temporary budget will be in place for the first three months of the year while Council and the administration work out the 2014 permanent budget.

This request, while early, will be included in that final budget.

Whitely said the department does not buy cars as frequently as other departments and will typically drive a car until it can no longer be repaired.

It has been known to keep cars as long as 14 years, which is unheard of in law enforcement, he said.

In choosing the Tahoe, Whitely said the vehicles offer many advantages including space, trunk room, durability, ground clearance, lower repair cost and officer safety.

The Tahoes will serve as marked police cruisers while the other vehicles will be used by undercover officers and detectives.

Committee Chairman and Councilman Vic Stewart, D-at large, said the department does a good job of working with the city’s Central Maintenance Garage to maintain its fleet, but the city also has to do its job of equipping the department with the right tools to do the job.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


  • Mark B

    With Gas prices always going up , would it not make more sence to be buying vehicles with better fuel milage instead of worse ?
    Also will these vehicles be going home with officers or staying at the police station. If they are going home they should be buying Chevy Cobalts.

  • stop ur whining

    this is such a joke. more tax payer money. the EPD has a long tradition of mismanagement. remember when they wanted to clean up downtown by putting more police on duty in that area? they added day shift cops to patrol all the lawyers and city officials, brilliant! As for the SUV’s a couple years ago when they got them it was for show, to intimidate criminals and carry supplies to better aid police. Who did they give them too? the senior officers that work days and live on the North and East sides. again, brilliant! Heaven forbid they give one to the two guys that have to live in wilksvilla! So yea, i do not doubt they want more, give one to every cop, may as well. why not, we pay for the gas right!

  • Johnathan W

    Mark & stop your whining, as I agree with most of what you 2 are saying I’d like to add a little more info to you. The Tahoe’s as well as the Crown Vic’s the officers had get just about the same gas mileage (IN THE CITY). Just keep in mind, prisoners sit in the back so room is very minimal when you put a cage in it as well with smaller cars. Also, the Tahoe’s are distributed throughout the department. I can tell you an officer with badge #1 is driving a 2006 Chevy Impala so they do not go to the senior officers that work days. A majority of the officers that have the Tahoe’s currently are evidence technicians which they carry significantly more equipment than that of a patrol officer. A majority of EPD’s fleet have over 100,000 miles on the cars which is now costing the department more money in repairs than it would of a newer vehicle. Taking a “support” vehicle home has been proven in other departments to cost the city significantly less money in repairs and fuel because it is ran about 8-10 hours a day on average than that of a car that is ran about 2 shifts which is about 16-20 hours a day depending on if the officer is “ordered” to work overtime. You know if your vehicle sits more & used less it will tend to last longer than one that is on the road everyday, stop & go. Off & on. I just wanted to add a little more fact for you guys. Sometimes, the more important information isn’t relayed to residents or the right person doesn’t give all of the facts so we the tax payers know exactly why decisions are made that others may feel a waste of our money.

    • Guest

      This guy should sell used cars!

      • Johnathan W

        I don’t sell used cars, however I do manage a local repair facility so I am educated on vehicles lol

        • Mark B

          i bet you have a hand in doing repairs for the city too .
          100,000 miles on todays cars are just getting broken in . whipe that brown stuff off of your nose .

        • Film the Police

          I honestly don’t care if the police have any cars to drive. As long as they are molesting innocent people, I can’t support them.

    • Mark B

      Instead of taking the cars / suv’s home park them in “The Back Lot ” untill the next day’s shift. they dont have to be driven 3 shifts to not be taken home. the can still be parked at the police station and only used for 1 shift.

      • Johnathan W

        Mark, I don’t know why you need to resort to comments like that. I do not touch any repairs on the City of Elyria’s vehicle at all. I am NOT an Elyria Police Officer, however was just kindly adding my 2 cents respectfully without off the wall remarks.

      • Guest

        Most officers, with take home cars, also pay a fee to take them home. Especially K-9 officers. It comes directly out of their paychecks.

  • JB

    I have to say that the city should really evaluate the cost of these SUV’s not only base cost, but the fuel mileage that the tax payesr will be paying fo in the end. I have a newerTahoe and can say I know what the costs are behide a lower to higher end Tahoe, including fuel. Way over kill for a city struggling to stay alive.

    I feel the city could wisely use the extra cash in more drug task force efforts for the city to the possiblity to attracting more potential new business. Please use the taxpayer’s money and grant awarded money wisely Elyria!

  • SoLoJimbo

    Elyria Council ask if they are pusuit rated vehicles, approved by Michigan State Police. They do all the testing to speed rate vehicles for safety. You may be surprised what you find!

  • Mark B

    Another point to be made is, it is very rare that only one officer will respond to a call, so why are we putting each officer in a car, would it not make more economical sense to put 2 officers per vehicle and then only one vehicle would need to respond to a call to have 2 officers there and hence saving a lot of extra fuel and the need for only half the amount of vehicles. But I guess that would raise tensions on who gets to take the car home at night.

    • Guest573

      Actually most calls are one man simple report calls. Also there would be issues of traffic crashes that require roads/lanes to be shut-down by more then one officer, if your using two, two man cars you’re taking two additional people off the streets that could be patrolling them.
      And as for conserving gas, as someone said earlier the police package Chevy Tahoe’s get comparable gas mileage as the police package Ford Crown Vic’s.

      • Mark B

        Listen to the scanner , they wont hardly do a loud music complaint with just one officer , if it is a accident that requires lan closure and such the traffic investigators and or EFD will be there to help with traffic control , or they can get a auxilary

  • tickmeoff

    They live so much better than we do,
    Where we make 15 to 20 dollars an hour. They are making 30 to 50 dollars an
    hour. As to costs…who cares, especially when one doesn’t have to be
    concerned to pay for the gas. It’s came to the point anymore that
    if you are working in private industry, you work for peanuts, the Sergeant that
    just got promoted in Avon lake will be making 83 thousand a year w/o overtime.
    With OT, easily going over 100,000 dollars. If you are not working a
    government job, you are basically a pee-on. So basically you have people making
    80,000 to 120,000 handing out tickets to people making 30,000 to 50,000. Talk
    about creating resentment!

    • Guest12

      Wow, unbelievable.. EPD needs new vehicles due to the one they have now are falling apart and all everybody is concerned with is: Are they taking them home… Oh they make more money than me… blah, blah. blah.. I’m married to an officer and my concerns are: Please make it home tonight in one piece… I give him a kiss EVERY morning and tell him how much I love him even if WE have an off day… That day could be HIS last.. Some of our officier are working double shifts just to protect this city… If people don’t want tickets – THEN ABIDE BY THE LAW!! I myself barely make 35000.00 a year…this is the job that i chose to do… If you or anyone else wanted to make what they make and put YOUR LIFE on the line, then you should of taken the damn test!!!

      • Bill

        Thanks to you and your husband for the all the sacrifices that go unseen.
        As far as some of these comments you do realize they are probably the same bozos that your husband is arresting or has issued tickets to.

      • Johnathan W

        You see the issue is people are so blind. I’d love to see some of these people get in a cruiser & do a ride a long with the officers & see what they have to go through everyday. The public believes what they want to believe but let them need the police & they are slow to respond or their cruiser breaks down on the way to their call it’ll be a different story. If you don’t like the city then move. I tried to provide a little more inside information to the residents about what I know & you see the responses I got.