City of Mobile to buy new police cars

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The City of Mobile plans on buying 90 new police vehicles and it comes with a hefty price tag.

Chief of Staff Colby Cooper, told FOX10 News on Friday this plan is part of Mayor Stimpson’s goal of making Mobile the safest, most family friendly city by 2020.

Bumpers may be cracked and paint might be chipped on some current Mobile Police cars, but they will soon be replaced by brand new vehicles. The City plans on buying a minimum of 90 for a cost of $3.1 million.

“Mayor Stimpson has committed to be very aggressive to achieve his goal of being the safest, most family friendly city in America. One of those top priorities was to make sure the men and women of the Mobile Police Department have the equipment they need. Frankly modern equipment they need,” said Cooper.

Cooper said the fleet is simply outdated and needs to be replaced with newer, and most importantly safer vehicles.

“Our motor fleet is in a very bad shape and Chief Barber came to us and told us that one thing we certainly need right away is to replace that aging, unsafe, fleet. These cars are driven very hard and they’re on the front lines. If we can make the men and women of the Mobile Police Department safe, ultimately it helps us makes the citizens of Mobile safer,” said Cooper.

The money will come from the capital fund. Currently, funds are in an operational account. The police department expects a vote in favor of the re-allocation of funds to purchase the cars at next Tuesday’s city council meeting.

FOX10 News reached out to Police Chief James Barber for comment. He refrained until after Tuesday’s meeting.

Currently, the department has 644 vehicles. Here is the breakdown:

-       353 have more than 100,000 miles

-       223 have more than 150,000 miles

-       104 have more than 200,000 miles.

Cooper said it is ultimately cheaper to buy new cars than maintain the current fleet.

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