SCOTTSBORO, Ala. - The City of Scottsboro is pairing up with police to get the department a new fleet. The hope is that getting some new cars for the force will save money and improve work in the community.
Mayor Robin Shelton noticed that the patrol cars needed a lot of work with sky-high repair bills. "I believe it was $174,000 in a four year period to maintain our police cars," says Chief Ralph Dawe of the Scottsboro Police Department.
Mayor Shelton approached Chief Dawe looking for a solution and the answer was simple, new cars. "Right now, what we do is we have four shifts," says Chief Dawe. "They work four days on, four days off."
The current Chargers are working overtime because that's two officers to a car, and the cars are running every single day. That's almost 100 miles a day on the cars. "That's about 136,000 miles a year you put on a car and that's why we're pretty much running them into the ground."
The goal of Scottsboro PD is to add 13 new vehicles to the fleet. That will give every officer their own car and the cars will rest on that officer's off days. Instead of Chargers, they're looking to get SUVs with upgraded computer units as well. "This computer is built specifically for a patrol car. It`s not a flip-up laptop. It's just a box, screen, and keyboard. It's holding up quite well for us," says Chief Dawe.
Not only will the new cars help while officers are on the clock, but they'll also be of use on their days off. "For the officers that live in the city, they'll be taking home these cars. On their four days off, they're going to be parked in a driveway somewhere in the city. That's a big deterrent for crime in the neighborhoods."
Dash cams in cars and body cameras are another upgrade they hope to look further into in the future. They hope to have the new cars within the next few months.