Detroit’s business community has stepped up to boost Detroit’s public safety in a big way. Over the last few months, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and leaders of Detroit’s business community (through the Downtown Detroit Partnership) have come together for an $8 million deal to provide 100 new police cars and 23 new ambulances to bolster Detroit’s fleet, which is in serious disrepair.
One of the things that’s different about this program is that it’s a lease. The city of Detroit will not own these new vehicles.
Detroit-based companies, including the Detroit 3 and a foundation, have stepped up to put up the $8 million behind the program. The eight donors are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Quicken Loans, The Kresge Foundation, Penske Corporation and Platinum Equity LLC, who own Palace Sports and Entertainment. The financing partner is FirstMerit Bank.
“These vehicles will enhance the visibility of the police and fire efforts in the city and improve the safety and security of our neighborhoods,” said Penske.
That’s an important point. It was made clear these vehicles are not just for the Downtown areas, but will be used across the city.
“This isn’t about Downtown, this isn’t about Midtown, this about the neighborhoods,” said Mayor Dave Bing.
But what about the people to go in these shiny new vehicles? Separately, Interim Police Chief Chester Logan also shared that two police recruit classes will train 60 new officers to restore dwindling numbers through attrition.
The vehicles Detroit is going to have access to include the Dodge Charger Pursuit, the Ford Taurus Interceptor, Chevrolet Caprice PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle) and the Horton Terrastar Ambulance.
As to the timing of this announcement, the mayor called it “coincidental” this was the first day on the job for Kevyn Orr, the emergency financial manager. There were reports of that a deal like this could be on the horizon back in February.
At the press conference we were told it takes 60-90 days to produce the vehicles as they are custom jobs, and then time to outfit them. So we should see the new vehicles on the streets in 120-150 days. So look for them around the end of the summer.
Want to see what the new graphics on these vehicles will look like? Check out the designs.
View from press conference at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit.