Albany Police get big upgrade with new cruiser fleet

Posted January 11, 2018 at 2:19 pm


The City of Albany recently added five new members to its workforce this past week in the form of new police patrol cars.

The Albany Police Department brought home five brand new Dodge Chargers fully equipped with lights, sirens and all the bells and whistles.

When it was all said and done, the five new cruisers only cost the city roughly $18,000.

Most of the monies used for the cruisers came in the form of a grant through the USDA.

“Fifty-thousand was part of a grant from the USDA,” Albany Mayor Nicky Smith said. “I want to thank (James) Comer, (Mitch) McConnell, and Rand Paul for that.”

Smith said $50,000 was part of some CDs he set aside several years ago in order to purchase the vehicles when new ones were needed.

Some of the money used, approximately $40,000, was from the drug ratification fund according to Smith.

The purchase of the new cruisers came at a good time for the City of Albany with several, if not all of the older patrol cars needing to be updated. Smith and Police Chief Ernest Guffey said they have at least one of the old cruisers in the shop everyday with something wrong.

Some of the old cruisers were 1998 models according to Smith and have a lot of maintenance that needs to be done more often than not.

“Hopefully we will replace them all. We can get another grant or something to help out with that,” Smith said. “They all have some years on them.”

The new police cars are equipped with state of the art lights, electronics and gun safety racks.

“The new cars are nice,” Smith said. “They have backup cameras on them. There is also a chip we need to order from Chrysler that lets the operator of the car know if anyone is coming up on you while you’re in the car. That’s pretty neat.”

Some of the old cruisers, Smith and Guffey both agreed, would be sold. Smith said they could sell them to anyone, especially any constable in the county who wanted one for a patrol car.

“They have everything in them,” Guffey said when talking about the new vehicles. “It’s really neat how they put the lights on them. They really look good.”

“They run good,” Smith said. “What I like about it is we can get them all equipped with everything new.”

According to Smith the basic price for each car for the state contract was roughly $24,000 with about $7,000 more to equip them with all the hardware and lights.

“They invoice for $39,000, so we paid about $31,000 for each of them. I’d sure hate to be in the back seat. A man would have to lay down. It’s tight back there.”

Smith said buying the cars at this time seemed like a good move, especially with the low price the city had to pay for all of them at one time.

“I know five at one time seems like a lot, but for $18,000 I didn’t think that was too bad,” Smith said. “It seems like every week we were doing maintenance on somebody’s (vehicle).”

Guffey agreed with Smith in the fact the new cruisers will be an added bonus for the police department.

“We are going to be in better shape than we were because these other ones are tore up half the time,” Guffey said. “The old ones are eating us alive in maintenance. They are wore out and are not dependable.”

Albany Police Department brought five new Dodge Chargers, fully equipped with police packages, into their fleet last week. The new vehicles were paid for with a combination of funding sources, including grants and savings. Shown above with the new cruisers are, left to right, APD Chief Ernest Guffey, Albany Mayor Nicky Smith, APD Officer Jeremy Ferguson and APD Assistant Chief Lyle Pierce.