Natchez Police Department receives new vehicles

Published 10:51 am Friday, July 2, 2021

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez Police Department recently received a new fleet of vehicles featuring a new bridge logo and traditional red and blue lights. The new design was unveiled Friday morning in front of Natchez City Hall.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said there are currently 9 new patrol cars with the new logo in the NPD fleet as well as two new commander’s vehicles, one unmarked detective vehicle and one criminal investigator’s vehicle with possibly more vehicles to come later on.

The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen authorized a lease-purchase agreement for a total of 15 new vehicles for the police and fire departments in March through a Government Fleet program by Enterprise.

The program is expected to save the city tens of thousands of dollars each year on vehicle maintenance, officials said. With the Enterprise program, the only maintenance cost to the city would be oil changes, brake changes and tires and Enterprise will replace vehicles that reach over 60,000 miles, officials said.

The cost of lease purchasing the 15 vehicles — including two detective cars and 13 patrol cars — is $150,000 for the first year and $132,000 for the following three years, Daughtry said in March.

There were 36 vehicles in the city’s fleet, most of which are 2013 models with an average of over 107,000 miles on them, he said.

Employees add at least 15,000 miles to them each year doing day-to-day work and the department spends almost $11,000 per vehicle on maintenance, he said.

All of the new vehicles are all-wheel-drive which was something the departments desperately needed during the winter storm in February, he said.

The new NPD vehicle design has the Mississippi River bridge in the logo.

“We wanted to use the bridge in the background and we’re even changing our patches (on our uniforms) so our patches are going to have the bridge in it because we want to bridge the gap with the community,” Daughtry said. “That’s the theme behind everything we do now.”

Daughtry said the lights were also changed from solid blue to “old school” red and blue lights that will improve other drivers’ visibility of them in fog.