A bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew that would save taxpayer money by allowing volunteer fire departments and ambulance squads to receive surplus state police vehicles was approved today by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
“Our current manner of handling retired vehicles involves storing them and then selling them at auction well below retail value, wasting money and resources of the state,” said Senator Van Drew, D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “By offering them free of charge to volunteer fire departments and ambulance squads, we are helping these local organizations acquire life-saving vehicles without pushing additional costs onto taxpayers.”
The bill, S-1613, would require the Department of Treasury to donate surplus police vehicles to volunteer fire companies, fire police associations, first aid, ambulance, rescue squads and search and rescue squads.
Under the bill, volunteer organizations would be notified when a vehicle becomes available. The volunteer fire department or ambulance squad could then request the ownership be transferred to it. If more than one organization requests the vehicle, a lottery would be held to determine ownership.
The bill was approved by the Committee with a vote of 5-0. It now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further review.