“Police work is hard on a vehicle.” RCPD hopes for eight new patrol vehicles

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City’s Legal and Finance Committee recommended on Wednesday that the Rapid City Common Council authorize the Rapid City Police Department (RCPD) to purchase eight new patrol vehicles. As the RCPD’s Captain Olson explains, “police work is hard on a vehicle.” Here are some facts you may not know about police cars!

  1. RCPD patrol cars accumulate about 40,000 miles per year (almost all of these are “in-town” miles).
  2. The cars are in use for almost 24 hours each day. “Vehicle keys get handed over to the next officer who drives that vehicle, and then the fact that you have to sometimes pursue, sometimes stop quickly…. just to be able to get to locations quickly to help people that are in need. It’s hard on a car,” Captain Olson says.
  3. Three RCPD vehicles were struck by drivers who were impaired or violating traffic laws in 2022.
  4. The RCPD hopes to buy a mixture of vehicles such as Durangos and Explorers, because production of Chargers that fit patrol needs has been halted.
  5.  It takes about one to two months to outfit a car for patrol, including light bars, cages, wiring, and storage for equipment.
  6. Most patrol vehicles are nationally accepted as pursuit-rated vehicles.
  7. After retiring from patrol, cars are often added to the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course training fleet.
  8. The Legal and Finance Committee recommends $370,000 for the eight new vehicles.

“We work really hard to keep all the vehicles working mechanically, but cars start to wear down after a couple of years- they’re just not good anymore. So having brand new, very tight running and properly equipped vehicles is important for patrol,” Captain Olson adds. The matter will go before Rapid City Council on February 6th.

Categories: Local News