Crestwood purchases new police cars


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Residents and emergency first-responders from across the St. Louis region came out to pay their respects to North County Police Cooperative officer Michael Langsdorf during his funeral procession from the Cathedral Basilica to Resurrection Cemetery in Affton Monday, July 1. Langsdorf was fatally shot June 23 while responding to a call about a bad check at a Wellston Food Market.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

As the car microchip shortage continues, the Crestwood Police Department has been forced to pivot and purchase two Dodge Durangos as opposed to the usual Ford Police Interceptors. 

The change prompted the Board of Aldermen to amend an ordinance Jan. 25 which originally approved the purchase of the Fords and was first approved Jan. 11. The two Fords were still ordered as the 2023 round of replacement vehicles in anticipation of more shortages, but the Dodges are more readily available, hence their purchase for this round. Police Chief Jonathan Williams said the Ford purchase can be canceled at any time, so there is no risk in planning ahead.

The Dodges are slightly less expensive, dropping the overall purchase from $73,928 to $71,766,68. One Ford F150 was purchased for this year with no issues and was not included in changes to the ordinance.

Currently, the Crestwood police vehicles are on a four-year rotation, meaning they are cycled out in four years, with two new cars a year. In 2019 and 2021, the city only purchased one car, so Ward 3 Alderman Scott Shipley said it was a “no brainer” to purchase the cars this year, but in the future the city should look at a five-year cycle instead.

“In my mind the policy of replacing cars after only four years is a gold standard. Keeping them for five might be a better  value to use that five-year warranty we are purchasing,” Shipley said. 

Williams said whatever aldermen decide police would work with, but since the chip shortage possibly could continue, the city should capitalize when cars are available, like this year. Older police cars are cycled out to other city departments and Williams said the four-year cycle allows the city to keep its fleet young across the board. 

The ordinance was passed unanimously.