New city police cruisers arrive; Funds from sale of alcohol helps fund vehicles

Published 5:17 pm Thursday, March 4, 2021

The city of Middlesboro took delivery on five new vehicles on Wednesday, acquiring five Dodge Chargers for the Middlesboro City Police Department.

Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson went over how the city acquired the new vehicles, explaining the city’s police fleet was in need of updating.

“Most of the cars were the old Crown Victoria that they stopped making in 2011, so we have updated,” Nelson explained.

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“We like the Crown Vics, they’re very dependable, but they’re getting up there in age and mileage. Hopefully this will put everybody in a pretty good vehicle.”

Nelson pointed out the five Chargers still have to be striped and sent to Knoxville to have the light bars installed.

“We’re excited about that,” Nelson said. “The police officers are, too.”

Nelson explained tax money obtained from the sale of alcoholic beverages helped fund the purchase of the Chargers.

“Were going to be using a percentage of ABC money from the sale of alcohol to make the payments on these,” Nelson said.

Nelson stated the city’s purchase of the vehicles followed the bid process.

“We put all of our vehicles out on bid, and the only entity that bid on the vehicles…was Tim Short,” Nelson said. “Everybody had the opportunity to bid on them, and only one entity chose to do that.”

Nelson mentioned the Chargers’ gas mileage makes the vehicles a better option than other models available for police cruisers.

“They’ll probably be on the road in about a month,” he added.

Nelson mentioned the city had received grant money to fund vehicles acquired prior to the Chargers.

“We received a grant for three Ford Explorers from Rural Development,” he said. “So that’s three new ones. Then we ordered four Dodge Ram quad cabs for our lieutenants and captain.”

According to Nelson, all 24 Middlesboro City Police officers will benefit from the new vehicles.