KCBD INVESTIGATES: LPD Fuel Costs - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock



Pretty much everywhere you turn, you can find Lubbock police officers cruising around town in sleek Chevrolet Tahoes.

But when you stop and think about it, it's kind of hard to believe that a large SUV like that, operates at the same cost as the classic police staple.

Back in 2010, the Lubbock City Council predicted the cost would be "about the same."

They said, "It's going to be good for the police department."

But four years later, is the city spending "about the same" to patrol our streets?

Documents reveal that the city has spent a significantly greater amount on fuel since they began phasing in the Tahoes in 2009.

That year, the city spent nearly $600,000 to fuel their fleet.

Each unit used about 650 gallons of fuel that year.

But that number goes up in 2010, 2011, 2012 and in 2013, when the average fuel use for a single LPD unit was about 1,085 gallons, nearly double what it was in 2009.

The fleet size has also decreased over the years, from 535 vehicles to 506.

Sergeant Jason Lewis with the Lubbock Police Department says thousands of trips to the Lubbock County Detention Center could be to blame for the spike.

"You're talking about 11,000 trips to out by the airport as opposed to coming to the police department," Lewis said.

Officers driving their units on and off duty could also play a part.

Mayor Glen Robertson says he needs more information before he can weigh in on these numbers.

"I think we need to know in 2009 how much we spent on fuel and how many miles we were driving in those patrol cars," Robertson said.

But the mayor says the extra protection is worth the extra cost.

"That saves us from creating a precinct station where we have to have multiple police stations. We have police stationed throughout the city 24/7," he said.

And what also doesn't hurt is the comfort and space that come along with the Tahoes.

"Yes, there's a price tag associated with it, but I think we get a great benefit," Robertson said.

Another advantage, the Tahoes are on a seven-year cycle. The Crown Vics were sold after five years.

The Tahoes also have a higher resale value.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly