SPOKANE, Wash.--Police officers have been seen around town in shiny new patrol cars. The department replaced several cars in 2013. KREM 2 News received several requests from viewers asking us to look unto where the funding came from, so we looked into it.
“I was wondering where they got the money when they say they don't have it,” said Spokane resident Jerry Joy.
Joy said as soon as he started noticing the new police cars he raised an eyebrow.
“I think it's too extreme. It's more than what they need,” said Joy.
Spokane police officers said that is far from the case.
“We're using our money very efficiently,” said Monique Cotton with the SPD.
Despite purchasing roughly two dozen new cars in 2013, their spending was down from 2010. SPD spent $640,00 on their vehicle budget in 2013. Former SPD leaders spent more than $900,000 in 2010,
SPD leaders said increased foot and bike patrols and an emphasis on two man crews helped keep costs low. Officials said their new hybrid cars were an investment with the long term budget in mind.
“Having a more fuel efficient car and a better vehicle that runs for a longer period of time, it is going to save us money in the long run,” said Cotton.
The majority of Spokane police cars are still the old versions. They have about 300 cars on the force and once one is retired, it is stripped of all its valuable equipment and auctioned off. All proceeds from that go right back to SPD.