JONESBORO Clayton County will spend $175,000 to replace five police cars that were declared unsafe by law enforcement officials.
County commissioners unanimously approved the expenses Tuesday. Four of the cars are being replaced because of old age, engine troubles and high mileage. Another will be replaced because it was totaled in an accident. Cumulatively, they have amassed nearly 1 million miles on their engines.
County records show fleet maintenance Director Jeanette Spivey informed police Chief Greg Porter on May 6 that three patrol cars needed to be removed from service.
A 2011 Crown Victoria had 67,078 miles — less than a quarter of the miles on the other vehicles — but it had been totaled in an accident. The front suspension was worn out and smoke emanated from the engine of a 2003 Crown Victoria which had 280,477 miles on it. A 2001 Crown Victoria was recommended for retirement because it had 226,570 miles on it, was 12 years old and was not considered safe.
Spivey then wrote to Porter again May 20 to tell him that two more patrol cars needed new engines. Maintenance workers discovered one of the vehicles, a 1998 Crown Victoria, had no oil in its engine. It had 177,734 miles at the time. The other car, a 2000 Crown Victoria, had 200,000 miles on it. The cost to replace the engines was $4,418.80 per car.
The funding will come from a fund designated for autos and trucks.
In related action, the county will also spend $14,863 to purchase bullet proof vests. Budget amendment records do not specify how many vests will be purchased, or for which law enforcement department or office they are intended. The money for the vests is coming from condemned shared money funds and proceeds from the sale of salvaged vehicles.