Little Rock is still working on equipping the police patrol vehicles it purchased last year to get them ready for use by officers, a city spokesman said Tuesday.
The city originally said the vehicles would be ready to hit the streets by March 1. Now the city isn’t sure when the vehicles will be ready.
“It will be a couple of weeks before we can give an estimated time frame because it is contingent upon the delivery of all of the items to be ordered,” city spokesman Jennifer Godwin said in an email. “Essentially, the clock won’t start counting down until all parts are on hand for the upfitting.”
Readying a vehicle for police patrol includes adding lights, sirens, prisoner containment systems, vehicle wrapping, computers, modems and camera surveillance equipment.
The city’s Board of Directors in October approved the purchase of 33 vehicles. One vehicle will be for recruitment use and doesn’t need to be equipped for patrol. The remaining 32 will be patrol vehicles.
The board approved contracts Tuesday to purchase the in-car camera systems and mobile radio systems for the 32 patrol vehicles.
The $1.5 million approved in October includes all of the upfitting cost, including the $300,000 for the camera and radio systems.
The city will purchase the cameras from WatchGuard Video Co. for $157,204. The radios will cost $142,404 from Motorola Radio Systems.
Once ready for the road, the vehicles will help replace outdated vehicles in the Police Department fleet. The city plans to retire its older Ford Crown Victorias first.
The city’s independent police union complained in recent months about the upkeep of the vehicles that officers drive, going as far as calling them “death traps.”
The complaints led City Manager Bruce Moore to commit to looking into the city’s vehicle-replacement policy.