The Van Buren Police Department’s fleet of vehicles will continue to be updated after the city council approved the purchase of three new vehicles during its monthly meeting held Monday. 

“A couple of years ago we decided it was best for us as a department to replace two vehicles a year to keep the fleet as reliable and modern as we can,” Van Buren Police Chief Jamie Hammond told the council before it approved the purchase of two 2019 Chevrolet Tahoes and one 2019 Ram 1500 Classic.

“We have been buying a lot of vehicles lately,” Hammond said. But six of them were (school resource officer) cars and that’s like a one-time purchase. We bought a couple of the Chevy Traverse vehicles that we use for the CID and those don’t have to be replaced nearly as often as the patrol vehicles do, and these will be patrol vehicles.”

The Tahoes will be purchased from Superior Fleet and Commercial Sales in Siloam Springs for a total cost of $63,796. The Ram will be purchased from Breeden Truck Center in Van Buren for the price of $18,453.

The purchases mean the department will now have an extra vehicle that can be used to better satisfy the conditions of a grant it has received to help with seatbelt enforcement in the city.

“We have a seatbelt enforcement grant that pays officers’ overtime and those guys use the extra car,” Hammond said. “Now, since there’s only one car, only one of those guys can work at a time. Now that we’ll have two extra cars both of those guys can use them as long as they’re not being used as a patrol car.”

The ordinance was approved by a unanimous vote, as was the attached emergency clause, which stated that a state of emergency existed “because the vehicle will provide improved life safety and protection of property and because the units are currently available” and because the need to purchase was immediate “before the quote expires” on the vehicles.