KAILUA-KONA — The Hawaii Police Department is awaiting delivery of 10 new marked police SUVs, the first addition to the department’s fleet in nearly a decade.
Orchid Isle Auto Center will supply 10 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles to the county at a price of $61,502.07 each, or $615,020.70, said Steve Wilhelm, procurement specialist with the Hawaii County Department of Public Works Purchasing Division.
That price covers additional options selected by the department, including locking rear cargo storage, mirror lightheads, mounted gun rack and computer mount, that equate to $3,451 per vehicle.
Marshall Kanehailua, the police department’s Administrative Bureau assistant chief, said the vehicles are four-wheel drive with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. They must be undemonstrated and model year 2018, or newer. They are also fully equipped with lights, sirens and speakers, under warranty and will come with decals already affixed.
“In these tough budgetary times, we will make do with what we can,” said Kanehailua. “With this $600,000, we are purchasing 10 vehicles to distribute throughout the island in the busier districts. That’s pretty good. It’s 10 more than we would have had.”
Mayor Harry Kim allocated some $600,000 in this year’s budget, which runs up June 30, for the purchase. Kanehailua said the department encumbered $650,000 to “ensure that the entire fleet program has enough funds.”
Orchid Isle Auto Center, which is the trade name for Inter Pacific Motors Inc. and operates in Hilo and Kona, was the lone bidder. The police department reviewed the bid, which was opened April 30, and recommended the award be made.
Wilhelm said Monday he sent Orchid Isle Auto Center the contract for execution Friday. Once official, the dealer has 180 days to deliver the vehicles to the police department. Based on that timeline, the new wheels should be hitting Hawaii Island roads around Nobember.
The move to purchase new vehicles is the first attempt since the county acquired the 35 marked vehicles in 2008-09.