NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Town Council has approved a purchase of two used Ford Fusions for the North Smithfield Police Department, low-mileage cars to be used as administrative vehicles.
In two 4-1 votes, councilors authorized purchase of the pre-owned 2020 cars last week, with the department to pay $24,592 for one with 9,000 miles from Salem Ford in Salem, N.H., and $25,474 for a second with 11,000 from Tasca Ford in Cranston.
The purchase was recommended by Det. Steven Donovan, who noted that the department cannot buy the cars new because Ford has discontinued the Fusions, which are used by many law enforcement agencies across the country.
“A lot of these companies are moving away from sedans,” Donovan said.
A search for suitable alternatives, he noted, yielded limited results.
“After looking into these brands and models of cars, the price was either higher or the vehicles had been discontinued, such as the Dodge Durango or the Dodge Charger,” Donovan wrote in a memo to Finance Director Cynthia DeJesus. “Our department has three Ford Fusion and they have been reliable and suitable as an administrative vehicle.”
Donvoan said that the department did find one lower-priced used vehicle, but found out it had mechanical issues.
The only vote against the purchase came from Councilor Kimberly Alves, who wanted a total for what it will cost to equip the vehicles with the police package, including lights. Donovan said the department will likely be able to install some already purchased equipment, but that if the package doesn’t fit the cars, it could cost an additional $3,000 to $4,000 for installation.
“Is this a rush that we have to get the two cars going?” Alves asked. “I just think we should have the whole price.”
Council President John Beauregard pointed out that no one will know if the equipment fits until they start pulling things out of the cars.
“A lot of stuff is interchangeable,” Donovan agreed.
Councilor Paul Vadenais pointed out that if the town opted for brand new cars, the department would only be able to purchase one.
“Everyone knows the used car market is just going crazy,” said Vadenais. “The money is there to do this.”
The cars will be purchased from a dedicated Police Cruiser Fund, which currently holds $58,708.