Andy police to get SUV

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Although the Andalusia Police Department certainly is not proud of Covington County's reputation of being one of the largest beds of methamphetamine activity in the country, that reputation really did work in a positive way for the Andalusia Police Department.

Due to the aggressive drug-related activity which the department and the Covington County 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force must battle on a daily basis, the department was recently able to land a grant of more than $220,000 to help in combating the drug dilemma.

During the regular meeting of the Andalusia City Council Tuesday, the council approved allowing the police department to utilize some of the money to purchase a sports utility vehicle (SUV).

Mayor Earl Johnson said bids were recently taken for the vehicle and the lowest bid was from the state bid list at $23,142.

"This vehicle will be paid for by the grant money (which was received last month), and it's not additional money coming from the city," said Mayor Earl Johnson.

Councilman Jerry Andrews congratulated Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams Jr. on receiving the grant money and said that the employment of Williams as chief has been a highlight of the current administration.

The council also heard an update from Williams regarding several items that the police department is currently seeking bids on. These items will also be paid for with the grant money.

The items include a compressor system which would be utilized to fill air bottles for any rescue or fire department in Covington County, a state of the art automatic fingerprint identification computer system and a self-contained breathing apparatus which would be used by the Drug Task Force.

Williams said there are also other items as well which the department will be notifying the city about in the near future.

Johnson also congratulated Williams and said he appreciated the hard work of Williams and his department.

"Other areas have this (methamphetamine) problem, but they may not know about it," said Johnson. "At least we know about it,

and we are taking very aggressive steps to deal with it," said Johnson.

Williams said the bids should be ready by the last council meeting in April, which will be April 15.

In another police related matter, Councilman Mike Jones noted that a story about

burglaries in the city had recently appeared in the Andalusia Star-News, and that his neighborhood as well as Johnson's neighborhood had also been affected by burglaries. Jones emphasized that people need to lock their doors and avoid leaving money or other valuables in their car. Williams added that if anyone has been affected by recent burglaries or have any possible information related to the burglaries, to please contact the police.