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SDPD buys unbudgeted equipment

The Soddy-Daisy Police Department will soon get seven new police cars to update its aging fleet, and city commissioners voted at their regular Feb. 7 meeting to purchase six more unbudgeted cars at the recommendation of City Manager Hardie Stulce.

“Our Police Department fleet is in shambles,” he said, adding that most vehicles currently in the fleet are 7-8 years old.

For several years while the city was low on funds, the number of vehicles purchased for the Police Department was shaved from four to just two per year — or none at all — and the fleet is beginning to show its age, he explained.

“We’re never going to catch up and get back to a reliable fleet of vehicles by buying two or three this year and two or three next year,” Stulce said.

Officers must currently share their vehicles, which ultimately causes more wear and tear to the cars due to the lack of pride in ownership, he added.

Also, some of the cars currently comprising the fleet are seized vehicles, which legally must be sold within five years.

The lowest bidder for the seven budgeted cars was a Dayton, Tenn., Ford dealership that offered the cars for $23,500 apiece. If the six additional cars are purchased equipped with striping, lettering and lighting, the total would amount to $157,510.

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