Refurbished vehicles save city over $260,000
by Elsie Hodnett
1-2-13

PELL CITY – The Police Department has refurbished several vehicles over the past two years, saving the city approximately $262,000 in vehicle acquisition costs.

“I am very proud of the hard work of many officers that have come together to save the city thousands of dollars and make our agency one of the most efficient, innovative and capable agencies around,” Police Chief Greg Turley said.

Turley said many residents saw the “Marine 1” vessel being pulled by, what appeared to be, a brand new F-350 pickup truck in the recent Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.

“The vehicle is actually a 1999 Ford that was wrecked and was surplused by the government,” he said. “The evolution of this project stands as an example of the innovation and hard work of the officers at the Pell City Police Department and the outstanding support of its elected and appointed officials.”

Turley said Officer Will Wynn serves as the agency’s point-of-contact on all surplus equipment.

“While working for free, he finds time to work the surplus list based on the needs of the department,” he said. “In this case, our agency needed a truck to pull the police boat. The lists are on a ‘first come-first serve’ basis, and often requires Officer Wynn to review the offerings at 4 a.m. so the department can bid and justify requests with hundreds of other agencies through the country.”

Turley said in this case, Wynn located the truck and personally inspected the vehicle and its records at Fort Rucker in Dale County, Alabama. After forwarding the information to the department for approval, the truck was received by the agency and Assistant Chief Ed Brasher and Lt. Danny Holmes met Wynn in Montgomery to pick the vehicle up. It saved the Police Department fuel and time by preventing the officers from having to drive to Fort Rucker.

“Once we received the vehicle, Officer Jessie Burgos led the effort to disassemble, repair, paint and reassemble the truck in time for the parade,” he said. “Cpl. Richard Woods and Officer Chris Norris also put in many late nights at the shop to get the project done. Assistant Chief Brasher, who owns a vehicle up-fitting business, donated the vehicle graphics, window tint, labor and lighting system for the truck.”

Burgos said he spent 12 years doing body and paint work on various automobiles before becoming a police officer four years ago.

“It took about three-and-a-half weeks of labor to get the F-350 ready for the parade, about a week for parts and two weeks to get it striped and the lights and sirens put on,” he said. “This was the third vehicle rehabbed for the Pell City Police Department. It took about three weeks to rehab a Ford F-150 and about four weeks to rehab the Hummer.”

Burgos said he is glad to use his expertise to help the department and city save money. He also worked with the Pell City Fire Department to rehab a rescue truck.

Turley said the Ford F-350 truck now gives the department the capability to be self-sustaining during storms, movement operations, towing of fuel and vessels and other needs.

“The vehicle only has 45,000 mile and will give our community at least 10 more years of service life,” he said. “If we would have purchased the vehicle, it would have cost our agency approximately $50,000; we did the entire project for $4,000.”

Turley said the department rehabilitated the 1997 Ford F-150 from surplus for a cost of less than $2,000 and the Hummer for the cost of $800.

“Two other Hummers (valued at $64,000 each) have also been acquired, but have not been modified,” he said. “The department has invested a total of $6,800 in surplus vehicles over the last two years and saved the city approximately $262,000 in vehicle acquisition costs.”

Turley said in the great scheme of operations, and while working with other departments in the city, the police department has acquired several millions of dollars in surplus equipment for the city that assists in operations on a daily basis.

“I am continually impressed with the work ethic, talents, and the willingness to go the extra mile that our officers demonstrate daily,” he said. “Our most important asset in the community isn’t a piece of equipment or a vehicle, it is the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving our community and making our agency better every day.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.

© 2013