Row upon row of brand-new squad cars are still sitting in Springfield waiting to be equipped. Most squads still are needing emergency lights, 2-way radios, computer and other electronic equipment installed to be patrol ready for Illinois State Police. Aging squad cars are a problem for the troopers who drive them and the motorists who count on them to swiftly respond to emergencies. And older cars are a drain on the state police budget because they are less fuel-efficient and often need costly repairs.
News agencies broke the stories about the new sitting squad cars back in April 2014 as of a week ago Got Your 6 Communications obtained information that about 100-150 squad cars are still sitting waiting to be equipped with patrol ready equipment.
Chicago Tribune reports
State police have five technicians qualified to do the work of making a patrol car functional spread across 21 police districts, and they seldom have an entire day to devote to installing equipment as they struggle to keep up with repairs to radios and computers in older cars and at dispatch centers, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.
“They can knock one (car) out in a day if they get the time to do it,” said Sgt. Ken Thomas, who oversees the patrol fleet. “But they keep getting pulled into other things.” The state’s ongoing budget problem — a $3 billion shortfall this year and billions in unpaid bills — has meant agencies won’t request funds for new staff, said Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees, the union that represents state police technicians. That means the state pays out more in overtime for short-staffed departments or spends more on repairing squad cars while new ones sit parked, he said.
My Stateline.com reports
New marked Illinois State Police squad cars will no longer have a light bar. Squad cars will now be fitted with interior deck dash and rear deck lights.
Illinois State Police F250 pickup trucks for Semi truck inspectors.