THE AGING ISLAND POLICE FLEET
When tens of thousands of people flocked to Galveston to celebrate Mardi Gras, the island’s police force kept folks safe. Galveston police answered 612 calls for service from Feb. 22 to 24 and made 53 arrests.
And they likely had to respond to a lot of those calls in police cars that need replacing.
A review of the Galveston Police fleet by Dolcefino Consulting shows more than a quarter of the Island Patrol cars now have more than 100,000 miles on them. The oldest patrol car in operation was bought in 2004, making it nearly fifteen years old.
“The officials in Galveston love tourist dollars and making money off of events like Mardi Gras,” said Wayne Dolcefino, president of Dolcefino Consulting. “But when it comes to taking care of their police, the powers that be in Galveston are coming up short. They keep their officers in deteriorating vehicles rather than spending the money to update their fleet.”
Frustrated Galveston police officers recently erected a billboard calling out the city’s lousy pension plan. The billboard leading off the Island says, “Thank you for visiting Galveston, home of the worst police retirement in Texas.” Galveston appears to be violating a 1997 state pension law.
“We think taxpayers should know if their first responders need more help, better cars and a better pension after decades of service,” says Dolcefino. “We have notified the Galveston Police Officers Association that we have created a website we are donating so that island residents can help show their support for the island first responders,” says Dolcefino.
Galvestonblue.com is now live.