The East Wenatchee City Council recently voted unanimously in favor of two separate resolutions concerning the procurement of police vehicles and the management of its fleet.

The first resolution reauthorizes the city to purchase and install all of its police vehicle equipment through Systems for Public Safety (SPS). SPS is the only company in the area that orders, installs, and certifies all the equipment needs the city has. The city's fleet management has been transitioning out of its public works department.

"(SPS) provides a proprietary 'P5' load manager." Project Manager Tom Wachholder said, "What this does, it prevents batteries from dying in police cars. It senses voltage, and once it drops down to a threshold, it kills all the electronics, so the police car will start. Historically, before we used this load manager system, police cars would sit for two weeks or so if somebody was on vacation or a car wasn't utilized, and it had to be jump started, which is not ideal in an emergency situation."

SPS was established as a sole source provider by the city, meaning there is no need for the usual competitive bid process. Three of the four local law enforcement entities use SPS' services.

The second resolution authorized the city to use a nationwide purchasing cooperative to buy police vehicles at a cheaper price.

Wachholder said the Arizona State Purchasing Cooperative allows other government agencies to make purchases using another agency's purchasing contract, a process known as "piggybacking."

Historically, the city has gone through the Washington State Bid List. In the last few years, the Ford Utility Explorer has been procured through Columbia Ford for police use. As of late, there has been delays in the delivery of the vehicles.

The Arizona cooperative has another dealership in Arizona that procures the same car, and is cheaper by about $1,800 per vehicle. Plus, the cooperative can drop ship the vehicles directly to SPS at no charge to the city, and delivery can be much quicker.

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