CENTERVILLE, GA – Citizens of Houston County’s smallest city should be seeing new police cars patrolling soon. The Centerville City Council has approved a lease agreement that will give the city five new patrol cars and five new command cars, while reducing the current fleet from 23 cars to 10, according to www.macon.com.
The reduction is possible because the cars will be rotated among officers rather than having cars assigned to individual officers. Reducing the number of police cars will save on maintenance costs.
The biggest noticeable change to residents is that the color of the city’s patrol cars will change from white to black. The unmarked command cars are for the chief, two investigators, the patrol commander, and the city marshall. Those cars will vary in color, with two blue, one gold and two black.
The City wanted to give the fleet a new look and replace cars that had high mileage. The patrol cars will feature digital cameras that record what is happening in front of the vehicle during chases and traffic stops. Some of the city’s cars currently use outdated VHS recorders.
The cars are also flex-fuel vehicles, meaning they can operate on either regular gasoline or E-85, which is blend of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol.
The goal is to move the city to an all-flex fuel fleet of vehicles, which would ideally be purchased outright, the City said. However, leasing is the only way to replace the entire fleet with the amount of money that the city has available.
The cars were ordered from Brannen Ford in Unadilla under the state contract price. The cost is $97,228 per year for the two-year period of the lease, and the cars would then be returned, with a 60,000-mile limit. The price includes trade-in reductions for 12 cars the city is unloading. Six other cars that are currently being leased are being returned.