State Representative Joe Sosonowski said “If there is an issue of squad cars sitting there, and not being able to be outfitted so that they are on the roads, we hope that it would be brought to our attention earlier.”
The cars can’t be outfitted because with budget cuts, the state does not have enough technicians to equip the cars. That has Illinois State Troopers patrolling the highways in outdated and run down vehicles. There is still not enough funding even though Illinois lawmakers added a $1.00 annual vehicle registration fee to pay for new cruisers.” Said Representative Sosonowski
“That $1.00 fee has since added up to 18 million dollars for new squad cars.” Said Sosonowski.
“Now there is another fleet of automobiles coming in, and no money in the budget.” Said Representative Sosonowski.
Another 400 squad cars are on their way to sit alongside the others in Springfield, while the old cars are still out on the roads.
Ideally, state cruisers would be retired after 40 thousand miles, or 4 years of use, but there are still state trooper cars hitting the roads with 176 thousand miles on them, or more.
All that extra mileage is expensive; it costs nearly $2,000 annually to maintain cars that have over 100,000 miles or more. So why doesn't the state use the money to maintain the cars instead of buying more? State legislation does not allow it.
Represenative Sosonowski said the legislation needs a second look“Basically the law needs to be modified, so that for these capital expenses rather than purchasing automobiles, some of the dollars can be used towards actually putting the lights on the vehicles and getting them ready to be street ready for a police officer to use
In the meantime, taxpayers continue to pay higher registration fees for police cars that no one is driving.
“What do you do, that is the question I would ask legislators, what are you going to do to fix the problem that doesn’t cost additional dollars?” Said R.J. Kuligowski, a concerned tax payer.
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