A new fleet of St. Helens Police Department (SHPD) patrol vehicles will soon be rolling along the streets thanks to a contract agreement between the City of St. Helens and Enterprise Fleet Management.
The current SHPD fleet is over a decade old. According to officials, many of the vehicles are past their useful life, requiring substantial and expensive repairs to keep them safe for officer use. While examining the cost of maintenance and replacement for its patrol vehicles, the SHPD said they looked at alternative options for a more sustainable fleet management plan.
After several presentations held at St. Helens City Council meetings in 2018, a contract was eventually approved with Enterprise Fleet Management in November 2018 to take over management of the police fleet. The contract will allow the SHPD to replace all of its old patrol vehicles with 11 new ones and add additional vehicles to its fleet, “while still saving the City money,” an SHPD press release said.
According to officials, the savings come through decreased maintenance costs and a managed lease agreement plan that will allow the department to sell the vehicles at their maximum value.
“We hope the St. Helens community joins us in taking pride in these new vehicles,” SHPD Chief Brian Greenway said. “The new fleet creates a professional image, not only for the St. Helens Police Department, but also for the St. Helens community as a whole.”
The patrol vehicles are navy blue with white doors and have a reflective police logo to make them more visible at night. The color scheme is unique to the SHPD, allowing the community to more easily identify their patrol vehicles from other law enforcement agencies.
“Even more important than an updated image is the new technology and safety features that these vehicles provide for our St. Helens officers,” Greenway said. “Officer safety is one of our top priorities. By keeping our officers safe, we help keep our community safe.”
The patrol vehicles will come equipped with armored doors, rearview cameras that operate while parked and driving, an intelligent police light bar, touchscreen interface throughout the vehicle, increased lighting for visibility, and all-wheel drive (AWD) for improved driving safety in all weather conditions.
The first new patrol vehicles arrived at the Department in early May.