Cov­ing­ton Po­lice to re­ceive new cars from drug funds

The Covington News - - Front page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

The Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment is get­ting nine new cars, thanks to for­feited drug funds.

Eight Dodge Charger pa­trol cars and one Chevro­let SUV will be pur­chased from Ginn Mo­tors. The ve­hi­cles will al­ready in­clude the re­quired law en­force­ment equip­ment, in­stalled at Ginn — who had the low­est bid for the cars and SUV.

CPD Chief Stacey Cot­ton said that the pa­trol cars would not re­place ex­ist­ing ve­hi­cles, but be ad­di­tions to the fleet they cur­rently have. The SUV will re­place As­sis­tant Po­lice Chief Al­mond Turner’s cur­rent ve­hi­cle, which is a 2004.

Cot­ton said the CPD fol­lows guide­lines set forth by the Depart­ment of Jus­tice when it comes to drug money.

Once the monies go through court ac­tion, they be­come for­feited and the CPD can seize it to use only in pur­chases for law en­force­ment. Al­though it can­not be used to pay things like salaries, the money can be used for any­thing from uni­forms to guns — any­thing that ben­e­fits law en­force­ment.

“There are very strict rules,” Cot­ton said.

Any pur­chase more than $20,000 has to have city coun­cil ap­proval and all pur­chas­ing has to be ac­counted for in the same way the city of Cov­ing­ton would. They also have to par­tic­i­pate in an an­nual eval­u­a­tion with the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and ac­count for what money was spent and on what.

Cot­ton brought the car pur­chase in front of Cov­ing­ton’s city coun­cil Mon­day night and the coun­cil ap­proved his pur­chase.

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