Monday, December 14, 2009

Still not immune

At least Officer Jason Wesch wasn’t injured in this crash, but it would sure be nice if drunk drivers would stop running into our patrol cars. If you just can’t help yourself, please select an unoccupied police vehicle, rather than one of our new Chargers.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was that the at-fault party's first DUI? In any case, it probably won't be his last.

Tom Casady said...

8:20 -

He's only 22, with one prior conviction for refusing to submit to a chemical test, and two convictions for minor in possession of alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Chief, I know you do not like it when someone runs into one of the department cruisers or one of the officer's have a little fender bender, but don't you think with an operation that runs 24/7, 365. It's going to happen! It's not like someone is looking to crash into a cruiser on purpose. It would be amazing to see the data: how many officers were involved in accidents this year? How many involved 2 or more vehicles? How many were deemed the officers "fault"? How many accidents in total involved the general public? I think you will see accidents that involved officers/cruisers (your new one) are far lower than one thinks. Just be happy the officers are ok. Cars can be replaced, people can't!!

Tom Casady said...

11:51-

Now don't go too serious on me. Obviously, when you drive over two million miles in an urban environment, it's pretty predictable that there will be some collisions. I'm just a bit amazed at the irony of these drunk drivers nailing police vehicles. You'd think the sight of a patrol car or the police headquarters parking lot would cause you to rally from your daze at least briefly. How'd you like to explain last night's crash to your insurance company--or the judge?

Anonymous said...

Chief, since you brought the subject up on cruisers, lets touch on this one. I have heard, from more than one officer, that your department is considering going away from the 4-wheel drive SUV your K-9's and other officers on the department use. Is that true considering Lincoln and surrounding areas got 8-10 inches of snow this past week? If that is the case what is the department going to go with? I saw several police cars with chains on the tires and they were still having problems getting around Lincoln streets. Now, I'm sure I don't know the entire story or even if it's true, but if it is, does that really make sense? Don't you K-9's go out of the city to help other law enforcement agencies? Do your officers have any say to what kind of vehicles your department orders? I have seen your officers who usually drives the SUV, and they are not small officers. I do not mean that in a mean way, they are just rather large officers and if you decide to go to something else, that would seem to make it rather tough for them? Can you shed any light on this issue for the public?

Anonymous said...

Someone need a new compass. I don't know if it is the drivers, the Sgt. who investigated the accident, or me. Even after looking on Google Earth, I don't think the reported location of the accident runs east and west.

Anonymous said...

Find me some snow my Crown Car can't go through (reasonably) with chains on! When driven correctly, the thing acted like it was in heaven with the chains tightly layering the treaded shoes. Now without chains, thats a different story. I am sorry to see the Crown's go. They have been a reliant and trustworthy police vehicle.

Tom Casady said...

12:07 -

Sure, I can discuss that. Like almost all organizations that operate large fleets, we are trying to downsize and save fuel wherever we can, while still providing functional transportation. If you haven't heard, municipal governments nationwide are undergoing the most trying budget conditions of the past 70 years.

The era of the big V-8 and the Yuykonosauarus is nearing an end. Who wants to speculate on when gas will hit four bucks a gallon? This is an issue that every single U.S. police department is dealing with, and that Europe confronted decades ago.

We try to make sure that we have continue to have some 4WD vehicles in the fleet for the worst weather events, without breaking the budget. Obviously, 4WD vehicles are both more expensive to buy and to operate than sedans. Not all of our 4WD vehicles need to be land yachts, though. We'll be getting three 4WD smaller SUVs for 2010.

It's my understanding that the K-9 unit has opted for Crown Victorias rather than Ford Escapes for those vehicles that are due to be replaced this year. Over the years, K-9 handlers at LPD have worked from sedans, pickups, mid-sized and full-sized SUVs, and even a three-wheeled motorcycle.

Full-size SUVs are popular, but lots of police K-9 handlers all over the country work from Crown Victorias, Impalas, Dodge Magnums, Chargers, Ford Escpaes, Dodge Durangos, even mini vans, and pickup trucks.

Anonymous said...

I like the Prius that was shown in the lineup room. Just put one gumball light on top and we can surely protect the citizens of Whoville!!!lol

Anonymous said...

Chief, than why do you still have Crown Vic's? I'm no mechanic but from what I read and know the fuel mileage between the SUVs most of the K-9's have and the Crown Vic's differ anywhere from 2-4 miles a gallon. Let's also consider that the K-9's usually leave their vehicles running in cold/hot weather for their partner stuck in the rear. I'm no K-9 officer but to go from a full size SUV to a small, cramped, not sure if I can make it to the next call cause my new cruiser got stuck in the snow, vehicle is that cost effective. If you are worried on cost then why did the department decide to buy all new leather for 300 plus officers? What is wrong with the stuff they have now? I see officers on a daily basis and the leather looks good to me! I guess looking in from the outside, none of this makes sense. It would be interesting to hear from your officers on this, and I'm sure, many other issues.

Anonymous said...

Wow-12:07 sounds like a disgruntled K9 officer.

How many large snow events does Lincoln have per year? Let's face it, you're not in the mountains of Colorado. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen any prototypes of this at trade shows? Maybe they'll have it be the AWD version, which would pretty much take care of snow traction troubles. The Taurus is a lot bigger and more substantial than it was some years ago, but the back seat might still be a scrunch with a prisoner partition installed.

Jim said...

My take on the high percentage of drunks hitting cruisers can be summed up in two works....Target Fixation.

Where you look you will go, if you're concentrating on the police cruiser, guess where your are car will most likely go.

Anonymous said...

"I'm no mechanic"

I don't doubt that. The Panther (CVPI) platform is pretty durable and extremely easy to maintain & repair. It's history, though, so don't fret, because they're stopping production.

Taylor said...

So chief you have Vic's Impala's and charger's. Anymore editions to the fleet? Weren't you considering a moblie emergency operations vehicle or was it a new SWAT truck?

Tom Casady said...

12:19 -

Yes, that compass needs calibration.

12:33 -

I'll take a RWD Crown Vic with chains over many AWD vehicles. Driving with chains in heavy snow is something of a lost art.

1:16 -

You're joking, but I'm not laughing. Look at Europe. Watch what happens to fuel prices as the economy rebounds. Look at what's happening to automobile ownership in China. What do you think this all bodes for the future?

1:43 -

I have not, though I've read the same promotional stuff you've linked to. We shall see.

Jim -

Target fixation, yes, I hadn't thought of that, but I think you are on to something.

Taylor -

We replace 20-30 patrol cars and a few unmarked every year. The marked units for 2010 will be Chargers, Crown Vics, and Escapes. We haven't selected the unmarked yet (waiting on the State bid.) We are still on the prowl for a mobile command post vehicle, and in the process of putting together some funding sources for that. It's been a long time since we've had one, and I can assure you we'd be the only City anywhere close to this size that doesn't have one.

Anonymous said...

Chief: Are the Escapes you make reference to for PSO's or Officers?