The Crothersville Police Department soon will receive four new vehicles and a Humvee.
The town council recently unanimously approved Chief Brent Turner’s request to lease four new Ford Interceptors and trade in the department’s Dodge Durango. The lease would be for five years.
The cost is $25,048.72, and that will be covered when town receives nearly $29,000 sometime next year through the local option income tax, which the Jackson County Council adopted earlier this year.
LOIT will shift the tax burden from property owners to income earners and allow the county to keep emergency services up-to-date.
Clerk-Treasurer Terry Richey said the lease for the new vehicles would be paid when the funds are disbursed to the town in 2017.
Turner also asked the council about the department accepting a used Humvee from a Law Enforcement Support Office program that’s run through the Department of Homeland Security and allows entities to obtain liquidated military equipment.
The only costs would be $421 per year for insurance and the expense of traveling to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to get the Humvee.
That passed 3-1, with council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson casting the dissenting vote. Councilman Bob Lyttle was absent.
Six vehicles currently make up the department’s fleet. Turner said he will try to sell three of the cars and put that money toward equipment for the new vehicles, while he plans to keep two of the Crown Victorias as reserve cars.
Robinson said the department needs the new vehicles.
“These old cars, if you look at the bills real close, we’re paying out probably $1,000 to $1,5000 every month for repairs on them, so it’s time for them to move on, really,” he said. “With the repairs we’re paying, we could equip the new cars.”
The Ford Interceptors will come with a 100,000-mile warranty. Capt. J.L. McElfresh said the first three years will be bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Even though the department is leasing the new vehicles from Bloomington Ford, Turner said they can be taken to a local dealership for service and repairs.
LOIT funds left over after the lease payment will go toward equipment for the new vehicles. Turner said he will begin obtaining bids on the equipment.
McElfresh and his brother, Travis, will do the installation, which will save at least $4,000.
“I’d like to have the equipment by the time the first cars roll in, that way we can start immediately,” J.L. said.
Turner learned about the opportunity to obtain a Humvee after the department became involved in the LESO program soon after he took over as chief in September.
That has allowed the department to obtain equipment, too. J.L. said other county departments have received equipment through the program.
The Humvee, which has about 7,000 miles on it, would be used as a special operations type of vehicle. Officers could use it in the event of heavy snow, water rescues or an active shooter incident.
J.L. said some of the older equipment on the town’s current vehicles will be put in the Humvee.