New Patrol Vehicles Save California School District More Than $200K

Here are some steps your nonsworn security department can take to reduce its patrol vehicle fleet costs.

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Although school, university, and hospital security officers often patrol their campuses on foot, many of them also need patrol vehicles so they can most effectively protect their facilities and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, some types of vehicles can be very expensive to not only purchase but also maintain.

So how can a campus security department provide its employees with the cars they need to do their jobs while keeping costs under control?

To find out, I spoke with Levaughn Smart, who is the Executive Director of Security and Disaster Preparedness for the Palm Springs Unified School District in Palm Springs, California. Smart is also one of this year’s K-12 Director of the Year finalists and was able to buy a new fleet of patrol vehicles for his nonsworn security officers while saving his district more than $200K.

“We came to find out that the old vehicles we had were the Police Interceptor Ford Explorers with the entire police package. We really don’t need our security officers driving 140 mph on the highway or anywhere,” says Smart. “So, talking with the mechanics, they said, ‘You know what? You guys could probably serve yourselves better by getting a car that’s not as much maintenance.’”

The more than $200,000 he saved as a result of buying different vehicles was reallocated to other areas that needed more resources, such as officer training.

In our interview, Smart also discusses:

  • The condition of his patrol vehicle fleet before getting the new vehicles and why did they need to be replaced: 1:42
  • Why he decided to adopt the vehicle model he chose for his department: 4:33
  • How the performance/maintenance of his new fleet compares to the department’s previous vehicles: 7:43
  • The specific ways the new vehicles saved his district more than $200,000: 9:26
  • Advice to other campus protection executives on patrol vehicle fleet management. 11:00

So with that, here’s my interview with Levaughn Smart. Enjoy the show!

Watch the full interview here, or listen on the go on Apple or Spotify.

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About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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