By Louie Graves
The July flash flood put some Nashville police patrol cars out of commission; mechanical problems have idled some others, and the department has found itself without enough vehicles to operate efficiently.
Nashville City Council members met in special session Friday, Sept. 27, and heard Police Chief Amy Marion’s pitch to purchase two lightly used vehicles from a company which supplies vehicles to government agencies.
Mayor Billy Ray Jones said that the two vehicles would be paid for by insurance on the damaged vehicles, insurance on flood damaged equipment, and from an equipment replacement fund.
Chief Marion said that quick action was needed because of a strike of GM union carmakers combined with the availability of the two vehicles — both Chevrolet Tahoe models.
Currently, the city police force is using some vehicles for two shifts, which the chief said shortened the life of the vehicle significantly. On the average, the vehicles probably drive 80-100 miles, but that number changes due to shifts and duties, the chief said.
The council voted unanimously to purchase the vehicles. The chief will place the order and also order cameras and radios. It will still be several weeks before they will be available for use.
The “new” vehicles will come already well-outfitted for police work.
The council was told that the vehicles were in stock and in use by the company. Both are very low mileage and have 100,000-mile warranty. The combined purchase price will be slightly less than $80,000.