City considers additional new police cars

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019


NATCHEZ — Natchez law enforcement officials are seeking to update their vehicle fleet, pending review of the city’s budget.

During Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said the department was in desperate need of rotating vehicles in their fleet for newer models.

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“We have a lot of vehicles with a lot of miles on them,” he said, adding that at least 12 vehicles that are currently being used by the department have more than 100,000 miles.

Armstrong presented a request for four Dodge patrol units, two unmarked vehicles for investigators as well as one K-9 SUV — which the department does not currently have in its fleet.

“We believe that we can get all seven of these vehicles at a cost of $151,826, plus equipment and decals,” Armstrong said.

Prior to making the Tuesday’s request, Armstrong presented figures to the board indicating that the city had saved more than $180,000 since consolidating the city and county jail in January 2018 — which included deducting the cost of a van for transporting inmates.

“We purchased the van in 2018, and had it not been for that we would have saved more than $200,000,” Armstrong said. “Until we can get a certain number of vehicles, we’re raking up on more miles every year and putting our officers at risk.”

Members of the Board of Aldermen had no opposition to the chief’s request for new vehicles Tuesday, but opted to take the request under advisement — which would allow them time to consider whether room exists in the city’s budget for a $150,000 purchase, aldermen said.

In other matters during Tuesday’s meeting the board:

4Unanimously approved minutes for the finance and regular meetings hosted on Jan. 22, 2019.

4Unanimously approved a leasing agreement of a commercial-grade Canon printer for the engineering department for a monthly cost of $180 and a Logictrac hardware system for 15 city vehicles for a total cost of $450 a month.

4Unanimously approved permission for Dan Gibson to pursue state and federal funding to renovate the Margaret Martin School.