Metro police: Patrol cars aging, rusting, breaking down - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Metro police: Patrol cars aging, rusting, breaking down

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Most people have driven a car until the wheels fell off, but should police?

Monday, Interim Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Julie Tolbert sent a memo to her officers listing their complaints about the department. One of their top concerns was aging cars.

District 3 Alderman John Hall took notice.

"The city council is dedicated to our police department," he said in an interview Tuesday. "We will give them exactly what they need, within reason."

Savannah city policy calls for police vehicles to be replaced when they hit 85,000 miles. But according to Tolbert's memo, the average mileage for cars in the west Chatham Precinct is 130,000, with one car having 200,000 miles.

"I don't think that's a safety issue," Hall said. "If that was a safety issue, these vehicles would have been off the street some time ago."

In the memo, officers complained that their cars have peeling paint and rust, that their appearance erodes the public's trust in the department.

The memo recounts one incident, in which a female officer's car broke down and she had to wait for a tow truck with the man she'd arrested.

Hall said the City Council needs to take care of officers.

"The men and women who patrol our streets, they need the finest equipment that we can give them."

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