Fort Smith Police Department Gets New SUVs Despite Tight Budget

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)—Despite a tight budget, the Fort Smith Police Department has new Tahoes patrolling the streets.

“We were authorized to purchase five vehicles with the 2015 budget, but through judicious spending and some changes in how they spent money, they got seven cars,” Cpl. Barbara Williams said.

Cpl. Williams said there are only two of the new Tahoes is use right now, but no money was allotted for cars in the 2016 budget.

“We have new cars, but they`re not new,” Williams said. “We`d like to get some new every year, but we didn`t get the chance to do that, but we`ve been, like everybody in the city, we`re watching our money and our expenditures, so we`re being very careful.”

Williams said the 2015 budget allowed the department to spend $297,210 to replace 2005-2009 model year cars.

“We had been in the past, had them outfitted by outsourcing that, and it cost more,” she said.

That’s why this time around, the police radio maintenance department will do everything from installing backseats,  lights, radar and video equipment.

“These times have made it really important that we`re careful where we spend out money, and we know we could save money outfitting them internally.

Williams says the other cars should be on the roads before the end of the year. She said at any given time of the day, there’s an average of eight to ten police officers patrolling the streets of Fort Smith.