Moulton Police Department is showing off a new look with two new patrol cars.
The two 2021 black, police-packaged Dodge Chargers replaced one of the agency’s older vehicles and brought the department’s fleet up to eight total patrol vehicles, according to Chief Craig Knight.
“One of the first things that I wanted to achieve as the new Police Chief was to try and acquire better equipment for our department,” Knight said. “We have needed new vehicles for some time now and I am very thankful that the Mayor and the City Council has helped our department with this matter.”
In a February Council meeting, council members approved the vehicle and equipment purchase for $72,115. According to the council, the city’s police department was allotted $35,000 for the fiscal 2020 budget, and $40,000 in the current budget.
Knight said the two police Chargers saved the city about $6,000 each compared to the cost of new Ford Explorers similar to six patrol SUVs currently in use by the department.
“The two new cars will help us tremendously, however, we are still working towards obtaining more vehicles as soon as possible. Our patrol cars are on the road all the time and are used very hard, at times,” he said. “I also felt that cars, rather than SUVs, would serve us better for City use.
A new vehicle policy designed to improve everyday wear and tear on the vehicles and assist the city in recruiting officers and maintaining its police force was implemented on March 1. The policy allows officers who live inside Lawrence County jurisdiction to take patrol cars home.
In a February meeting, Knight told the Moulton Council that the take-home policy would save thousands on the wear and maintenance of the vehicle. “This policy will show more accountability from officers. It gives them more incentive to take greater care of the vehicle when it is their own; they are the only driver,” he said.
The new Chargers should last the department five to six years, but Knight hopes to see the patrol cars used longer before they have to be replaced.
Knight, who was sworn in as the city’s new police chief on Feb. 1 following the retirement of former Chief Lyndon McWhorter, said safety was a top priority for him when he took office.
“Newer and better equipment ensures that the officers will be safer as they perform their duties and also with better vehicles, we are safer to the public, in the performance of those duties,” he said.
The new vehicles are noticeably different from the six SUVs in use by the department, not only in size and shape, but the new cars sport revamped detailing as well.
The black Chargers feature a sleek blue stripe running the length of the car, with Moulton’s Police badge displayed on the side of the car just below its windshield. The new design approved by Knight will slowly replace the older vehicles over time.
“So far, there has been a lot of positive feedback from the Police Officers, as well as the citizens of Moulton,” said Knight.