FPD, LPD to receive new police cars

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two local police departments were named as the county’s first Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant recipients for new police vehicles.

On Friday, Florala Police Department was notified of a $22,244 award. On Monday, Lockhart Police Department received notice of a $24,984 grant for a new patrol car.

“When the grant monies are received the money will be used to purchase a much needed folly loaded patrol vehicle, they vehicle will allow us to better serve the community without the worry of a vehicle not making it to the scene,” LPD Chief John Davis. Davis said the vehicle will replace a car with more than 124,000 miles and will require matching funds of $2,776.

Florala Chief Sonny Bedsole said his funds will be used for a four-wheel-drive SUV.

“We are extremely excited to get the news we had been awarded this grant,” Bedsole said. “It will be equipped with wench and gives us the capability to get to citizens in the event of a natural disaster.”

Bedsole said the new vehicle will also allow officers to safely maneuver in areas not accessible by patrol cars. Because city roads are part of two hurricane evacuation routes from Florida, city officials expect the vehicle will play a crucial role in helping officers ensure the safety of motorists.

Florala’s mayor was notified earlier this week of the governor’s decision.

“Proper equipment and reliable transportation enables our officers to better protect and serve residents,” said Gov. Bob Riley. “I am pleased that these grants will help departments in their duties.”

ADECA is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice.

This is the department’s fifth new vehicle announcement over the last two months. Recently, the Florala Utilities Board helped the department secure four new patrol cars for the department.

The vehicles should be delivered late next week, Bedsole said.