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Johnson City Commission may spend more than $420,000 on new police vehicles

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The Johnson City Commission may spend nearly a half-million dollars on an investment for the police department.

The commission will vote on buying 14 new, fully equipped cruisers for the police department.

Right now, the department has about 200 vehicles.

News 5's Jessica Griffith is finding out the need for the new cars and why police say they are important to better serve you.

The Johnson City Police Department has vehicles in its fleet in dire need of replacement.

"These things are running a long time. 12 hours a day everyday so they get used," Mayor David Tomita said.

The $420,990 expense would come from the capital equipment fund.

Major Karl Turner said many of the vehicles date back 15 years. These new vehicles would help replace them.

"The newer vehicles, there's less maintenance cost on those because they're under warranty and it allows us to replace older vehicles that it costs more to keep those vehicles running," Turner said.

Another perk to new wheels is all wheel drive.

"That allows us to better respond to calls for service in inclement weather," Turner said.

Part of the 14 new vehicles would be 2 SUV's. One for special projects and another for a K9 unit.

Mayor Tomita said replacing in small groups helps the financial burden.

"It's something you have to do because you certainly don't want to have to replace it all at once," Tomita said.

Plus, new vehicles would make for a more comfortable ride.

"It's a long shift in a small vehicle fully equipped. With a cage behind you so there's not a lot of room so we'd like our officers to be more comfortable," Tomita said.

Major Turner said the old cars will be auctioned off once the replacements are in.

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