One time this summer I saw the University Police chief had someone pulled over with blue and red lights flashing. As I drove by I noticed the chief’s car was a Cadillac Escalade.
I assumed that the vehicle was the chief’s personal vehicle that he had rigged up to be a police car.
Today I drove by the police station and saw the chief’s Escalade again. This time I noticed that it is wearing an official property of the state of Alaska vehicle license plate. I had not noticed that in the earlier drive-by because, well, I was driving by.
How is it when the university and the state are facing the biggest budget challenges in a long time that we’re buying a Cadillac for the university police chief? Wouldn’t a Suburban do the same job for less money? 2016 Escalades start at $72,970. Suburbans start at $49,700. That’s a significant difference!
The 2006 Escalade, which is part of the police vehicle pool, was given to UAF as part of the adjudication of a felony drug trafficking criminal case involving cocaine. As part of the agreement, the university is required to use the vehicle for a minimum of two years before it can be auctioned off. The Escalade is used by more than one officer.
It’s important that our UAF police officers use fully marked patrol vehicles to perform traffic stops, so it would be very unusual to use the pool vehicle for this purpose.
Please feel free to contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-7721 if you have additional questions.
— Keith Mallard, UAF police chief