By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)April 6, 2017
The Fort Leonard Wood Directorate of Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Division, received new additions to their vehicle fleet as part of an Army-led presidential directive.
The Joint Service Law Enforcement Vehicle Equipment Standardization is a GSA lease option initiated and led by the Army Installation Management Command Provost Marshal/Force Protection Directorate to save money, modernize and set a standard military−wide, according to a brief from IMCOM.
Five were recently put into rotation on the streets of Fort Leonard Wood, with six more expected soon, and another five by the end of the fiscal year, said Capt. Robert Ishmael, supervising police officer, Traffic Division, DES.
Ishmael said DES used to receive a standard vehicle from GSA, and would have to install law enforcement elements to make them sufficient for use. Those alterations, including adding lights, cages and emergency equipment, would cost DES a lot of money not only to purchase and install, but to take off when the lease was up, he said.
"With IMCOM fielding the pre-packaged vehicles, we won't have the added expense of having to buy everything out of the DES budget here," he said.
Ishmael estimates the JSLEVES initiative saves DES about $5,000 per vehicle, with the savings being applied to other areas of need within law enforcement.
"We have more money to further our other investigative projects," Ishmael said. "We are buying stuff for our major crash teams like police investigations electronic devices, special events items, speed carts and message board signs."
Ismael also said the savings give DES an opportunity to update, adding that the new cars are going to get computers so officers can do reports in the field.
Officers driving the new cars don't focus on the new gadgets as much, saying it's more about being in a safer vehicle designed for law enforcement, said Sgt. Jacob Cardell, a Soldier assigned to Traffic Division.
The addition of the new vehicles ensures DES can provide the necessary service to the Fort Leonard Wood communities.
"(Having the new vehicles) is making sure our officers are making calls so we can serve the public efficiently and effectively," Ishmael said. "We're not worrying about if we have enough cars for the officers on the streets."
Ishmael said all 29 vehicles in the DES fleet will eventually be replaced by the new models.