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Girard to buy six police cars

March 19, 2008
By RAYMOND L. SMITH Tribune Chronicle
GIRARD — The Police Department will be getting the six police cars it wanted after all.

Safety Director James Lambert ordered six Chevrolet Impala police package vehicles from Greenwood Chevrolet Tuesday morning. The cars are expected to cost between $19,100 and $19,600 each, Lambert said. He expects to obtain the final number for the basic vehicle today.

The city also will spend an estimated $5,000 for the police package, which includes lights, cage and other items needed for the police cars.

Mayor James Melfi, a vocal critic of purchasing six cars at one time, said he decided to go ahead after the city’s law director advised him that the ordinance council passed in February dictated that the six cars be purchased.

‘‘My position has been clear in this matter,’’ Melfi said. ‘‘I wanted to be cautious in our spending and did not believe we needed to purchase the six vehicles at this time. I wanted to purchase three vehicles now. Later, if our budget allowed, we would have looked to see if we could afford to purchase more vehicles.’’

The ordinance passed by council directed the administration to purchase six full-size police vehicles. Melfi criticized the purchase of the larger Ford Crown Victoria and Dodge Charger, because the vehicles were at least $1,200 more than the Chevy Impala.

To help ensure the administration had the money available to purchase the vehicles, council placed the $150,000 estimated cost in a safety fund that can only be used for the purchase of equipment for the city’s safety forces.

Melfi said his administration has always made purchases based on the lowest and best bid.

City Councilman Michael Costarella is pleased the mayor decided to follow the council’s recommendation.

‘‘The Police Department really needs these vehicles,’’ Costarella said. ‘‘We are glad to be working with the administration on this.’’


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