Genoa Twp. purchasing two new cruisers; switch from Ford to Dodge Chargers
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Last year Genoa Township Police Chief Robert Taylor told members of the Genoa Township Board of Trustees that, as a cost-savings measure, he intended to make his department’s police cruisers last 150,000 miles before they are replaced.
During the Thursday, October 18, Genoa Township trustee meeting Taylor took those words back; he said it wasn’t a realistic promise considering the vehicle’s typical heavy use – three to seven cruisers are typically on the road depending on the shift.
“Maintenance on cruisers is starting to eat us up,” Taylor told the trustees. “Two cruisers have cost us over $20,000 in maintenance fees, and they’re down more than they’re up. I’m retracting my statement that I would make cruisers last 150,000 miles … that was a pipe dream.”
Taylor said the two cruisers that are requiring excessive repairs are a 2007 model with 114,000 miles, and a 2008 with 113,000 miles – both Ford Crown Victorias.
Taylor asked the trustees to approve spending $79,419 out of the Police Capital Fund to purchase and outfit two 2013 Dodge Chargers from Greve Chrysler. The purchase is at State Bid pricing, and the total includes all gear and installation to make the cruisers road ready.
Taylor broke the cost of the two cruisers into three purchase order requests from three vendors: $51,270 for the two 2013 Dodge Chargers from Greve Chrysler (State Bid); $10,400 for Insight for cameras, including installation; and $18,149 for other cruiser equipment from REM Communications, installation included.
Taylor was asked if any of the old cruiser’s equipment would be transferable to the new cruisers.
“Most of our cars are Crown Vics,” Taylor said. “We tested three cars and chose the Chrysler Dodge Charger. No equipment is transferable from a Ford to the Chrysler. The two cameras in the Fords are old VHS models; we’re having trouble even finding tapes for those models.”
Taylor also noted that Ford is discontinuing the Crown Victoria and replacing it with a new law enforcement model. He said the newer Ford model replacing the Crown Vic would be sized differently, and equipment in older Ford cruisers would not be transferable if the township purchased a Ford.
While he had the floor, Taylor gave a brief update on the condition of GTPD Officer Justin Otterbacher.
On Monday, October 15, Otterbacher was injured along with OSHP Trooper Jeremy Garner when their motorcycles collided while escorting First Lady Michelle Obama’s motorcade on U.S. 36/Ohio 37 east of Delaware.
Otterbacher and Garner were both taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The trooper was treated and released that evening,” Taylor said. “Officer Otterbacher was kept in the hospital for two more days. He’s home now, but he has seven broken ribs and a concussion.”
Taylor said some township residents questioned why a GTPD officer was outside of the township serving as a motorcycle escort.
“We were asked by the City of Delaware as part of our mutual aid agreement,” Taylor said. “We often ask outside departments for officers to come in and help us. We are not an island; if asked, we will respond.”
Taylor said because Genoa PD’s mutual aid agreements are within Delaware and Franklin counties, his officers would not travel outside the two counties.
“But as far as providing assistance when requested, we are obligated by our mutual aid agreements,” Taylor added.