How to drive champagne fleets on a beer budget

Fleet management veterans offer advice on how agencies can get the most bang for their budgeted fleet bucks

     In Maine, the Kennebunk PD is reducing the number of cars it brings in during conservative budgetyears, and is able to do so because it sustains a dedicated maintenance schedule.

     "We definitely maintain our fleets really well; keeping the oil changed every 3,000 miles and [having] safety inspections done," Chief Robert MacKenzie says. "That's done a lot for us in the last few years. We're going to attempt to see if we can scale back on the cars that we're buying this year, knowing that maybe next year we'll have to have an additional car." MacKenzie says the agency's current crunched budget has come after a couple successful budget years, so it is able to scale back without any big dents in its fleet.

Champagne or beer bargain?

     In the last month of a year plagued with bad news (see: economy, gas prices, forecasted budget cuts, etc.), it's best to end with good news: With some common-sense backed equipment recycling and restructuring tricks, law enforcement administrators can maintain an outfitted flock in a conservative budget year. But it's about more than just champagne versus beer: Ultimately, it's about security and protection, and in law enforcement, those components can't be bargained.

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