Today is Thursday, July 31, 2014

LPD to add 12 new patrol cars

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The 12 patrol cars were purchased for $315,000. The department used a percentage of money from traffic citations that the department set up years ago for the sole purpose of buying new vehicles.{phocagallery view=category|categoryid=3|imageid=554|displayname=0|float=left}


Bowen also pointed out four new vehicles for detectives were bought from Wilson County Motors for $75,000 and that the department used money from drug seizures in that purchase. He said the ability of the department to use those funds for its patrol fleet helps the city government from having to shoulder the burden.


There was no money from the Citys General Fund used for these vehicles, Bowen said. The city has been dealing with budget shortfalls for the past several years and expects to use more than $1 million from its reserve fund to cover a deficit in its 2012-2013 budget.


If we couldnt use these funds to buy our vehicles, we would be in a dire situation with our cars because of the citys financial situation, Bowen said.


The department has six of the new patrol cars currently parked at its headquarters on Tennessee Boulevard. The cars are waiting to receive the traditional black-and-white markings, which Bowen said will also help save the city some money.


Bowen said instead of ordering all-white vehicles and then painting parts of them black, they ordered all-black cars that will use a white wrap on the doors. Bowen indicated a company in Franklin will do the wrapping, add the departments logo and transfer equipment from old vehicles into the new ones.


He said the wrap costs about $600 per car.


I think its very important to have traditional black-and-white patrol cars because people recognize it and know it, Bowen said. Plus, we have to look at how we can spend the taxpayers money better.


Bowen said he chose the Chevrolet cars over the Ford Interceptor because the Chevrolets would hopefully save the department on fuel economy and had a better warranty. He also said Lebanon City Council was supportive of using a local dealership as opposed to one in Nashville or the surrounding area.


We are hoping they can get better gas mileage and the warranty was much better. When a patrol car gets over 100,000 miles, you start to worry about it because it goes through more wear-and-tear than a normal car, Bowen explained.


He said patrol cars only last six to seven years before hitting 100,000 miles and the Chevrolets had a much better 100,000-mile warranty.


The four detective vehicles are Hyundai cars also purchased from Wilson County Motors that the department actually bought for less than any other option due to slight hail damage on the vehicles exteriors. Bowen said they received a price reduction, but pointed out the damage is hardly noticeable.


In the next two to three weeks, Bowen said the cars will be picked up and equipment from old patrol cars will be transferred into the new ones, after they receive their markings. Six of the cars will go into service in the next month and six more are on order for the department in the near future.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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