Ferriday police to get new patrol cars

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 19, 2007

Ferriday’s police department will get some new wheels for its police chief next week.

Thursday, Chief Richard Madison received a call from a car dealership in Amite telling him his car was ready to be picked up.

At the Ferriday Board of Alderman meeting last week, the board approved to add $5,800 to a previously acquired $15,000 state grant to purchase the police car.

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“This allows me to effectively do the job the town hired me to do,” Madison said Thursday.

“Putting me up and down the road, I need adequate transportation.”

Madison said a new car was needed after a wreck between Ferriday Fire Chief Hermon Smith and former FPD patrolman Marcus Paul last October.

Madison allowed his police captain to use his patrol car and now he uses his own personal vehicle for patrolling and responding to calls, he said.

“I can’t take one of the officer’s patrol cars because it is required for them to be able to respond within 30 minutes of a call whether they are on or off duty,” Madison said.

The only time another car is available, he said, is when an officer is on vacation.

Currently there are 13 employees at FPD that require a patrol car and only 11 cars.

Madison said FPD will also get a patrol car for its assistant chief.

One person that helped FPD obtain the grant, Madison said, is newly elected Rep. Andy Anders.

“What Andy’s doing is helping to facilitate it,” he said.

“We’ve been having a difficult time getting the state to provide funding because the government set up new criteria and additional information in the grant so we’ve had to rewrite it.”

Wednesday, Anders said the grant was supposed to be approved during former Rep. Bryant Hammett’s administration.

“It got hung on somebody’s table I just made the call to help speed it up,” Anders said.

Madison said patrol cars for each officer helps him to “pin point officers who are not taking care of their vehicles.”

“It also cuts down on wear-and-tear on a unit, which reduces maintenance cost,” he said.

Madison said the average cost for FPD vehicle maintenance is about $300 per month.

“My biggest concern is that we don’t have any catastrophic events as a result of poor maintenance,” he said.