Grand Junction squad cars donated to police academy

Two aging Grand Junction Police Department patrol cars will have to wait a bit longer for retirement.

Grand Junction City Council members on Monday night unanimously approved the transfer of two patrol vehicles set for auction this fall to Mesa State College’s Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy. Council member Sam Susuras was absent from the meeting.

Former Grand Junction Police Chief, Bill Gardner, wrote a letter to current chief John Camper requesting two additional vehicles for the training program. Gardner is now the lead instructor of the police academy. Gardner said the program received a grant to purchase four used police vehicles, but the program needed two additional vehicles. Gardner thanked the Police Department for providing used police cars to the program in the past, but those formerly donated Grand Junction Police Department vehicles are no longer usable.

The retired police cars would sell for about $1,000 to $2,500 per vehicle at auction, depending on their condition.

“These vehicles are now past service life and need to go to the junk yard,” the city document states.

Grand Junction Police Department Deputy Police Chief Troy Smith said at the meeting that the value of the vehicles would be even less than their auction price because a staff member would have to strip the patrol cars of equipment.

Council member Gregg Palmer said he wasn’t concerned with the loss of money the cars would fetch at auction because the vehicles used by future police officers were a greater benefit to the city.

Council member Tom Kenyon, who had trained in an academy, agreed the vehicles would be well-used and joked that he could see how a program wouldn’t want trainees to practice with new patrol vehicles.


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