Task force vehicle to be scrapped

This 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe, used by undercover narcotics detectives at the Payette Police Department, is destined for the scrap yard after being decommissioned by the department. The Payette City Council approved its disposal Monday, after Chief Gary Marshall stated the vehicle was unsafe and developing peculiar characteristics.

PAYETTE — According to a 2007 article at www.government-fleet.com, fleet vehicles are driven an average of 25,000 to 30,000 miles per year. That would mean an odometer reading of over 600,000 miles for a vehicle in use for 24 years, if driven that frequently.

But even at its actual odometer reading of over 150,000, the Payette Police Department’s task force vehicle, a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe, is up for retirement. But rather than sell the vehicle at auction, the department requested a declaration of surplus from the city council during its regular meeting on Monday, and permission to simply drop it off at a recycling yard to be crushed.

“[It] is not a vehicle we want to invest more money in maintaining,” wrote former police chief John Plaza in his Sept. 20 agenda request to the council. “It has mechanical issues which are making it not safe to operate.”

During the meeting, new chief Gary Marshall added that he didn’t want his department to be held liable for whoever would have purchased the vehicle at auction.

“It was being used as an undercover vehicle for narcotics detectives; It’s gotten to the point where it’s just not safe to drive,” said Marshall to the council. “It feels like the front end’s going to fall off from underneath it. Every once in a while the windshield wipers turn on by themselves.”

The vehicle’s scrapping was facilitated by Resolution 2021-15. Councilor Craig Jensen moved to accept the resolution. The voice vote to approve was unanimous, 6-0.

The Payette Water Department also submitted a request for declaration of surplus, as it moved to discard scrap iron which was left over from its operations. The council also approved this request unanimously.

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