City to buy police vehicles

Published 8:06 pm Friday, October 28, 2011

The demise of the Crown Victoria has forced the Brewton Police Department to look for alternative vehicles when it comes to replacing cruisers for their patrols.
Chief Monte McGougin said an agreement between the county and the city law enforcement agencies coupled with some serious number crunching have made the purchase of five new Chevy Tahoes possible for the department.
“We have come up with a plan that has allowed us to find the funding for these vehicles,” McGougin said. “These aren’t luxury vehicles we’re talking about. These are cruisers that just happen to be Tahoes.”
McGougin said one change in the department that makes the acquisition of the vehicles possible is taking over more area to patrol and answer calls to currently being worked by the Escambia County Sheriffs Department.
“Basically, we are taking in some additional areas to cover for the county in exchange from some considerations when we have inmates to house,” McGougin said. “By having our charges for housing inmates we take to the county jail reduced or eliminated, we were able to come up with a big portion of the funding needed for the vehicles.”
The five Chevy Tahoes will cost the city $41,000 per year for the next three years — and McGougin said those funds have been found.
“We took a look at some areas where we had a little padding financially,” McGougin said. “We were able to put about $15,000 toward these vehicles by eliminating most of the money we spend on inmate custody. We will continue to pay medical costs and that sort of thing, but the county will house those inmates for us at no charge. Other funding will be taken from about six other areas where we saw we could cut costs and expenses.”
McGougin said there will be no cut in pay for officers or any reduction in services to the citizens because of the changes being made.
“We will work those areas in the agreement with the county in addition to what we are already doing,” McGougin said. “The only things we won’t do in the new jurisdiction areas will be to maintain information on sex offenders or respond to wrecks.”
The new areas in the Brewton Police Department jurisdiction will include a portion of Tippens Eddy Road off Appleton Road, Kings Court off Pea Ridge Road, portions of Jernigan and Foshee Roads and a larger portion of Kirkland Road.
“There still may be a few things that will have to be worked out,” McGougin said. “But, this is going to be a positive thing for the city and for this department.”