By John Schaffner

For the first time since the Sandy Springs Police Department was formed in January 2006, the city has approved a lease to replenish the fleet of police cars and to provide money for the purchase of 25 additional video units for the cars and for the purchase of E-Ticket software.

Of the $1.5 million dollars in the lease package, which had been negotiated with Wells Fargo Bank at a 1.4 percent interest rate, approximately $800,000 is for the purchase of new police vehicles.

The lease provides $128,000 for the purchase of the E-Ticket software to help police officers in electronically transmitting tickets on violations of all types to headquarters. The remaining will be used for the 35 additional video units for placement in the additional vehicles.

Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny asked about the average life expectancy of a police vehicle, whether it is three or five years.

City Manager John McDonough said that because council approved early on that police officers would be able to take the vehicles home with them, the city’s vehicles last longer than those in a program where they are in service 24 hours a day. He said the city expects a four-year lifespan for the vehicles.

So, those vehicles purchased when the department was formed are at the end of that life expectancy. “This is our first large replenishment of the police fleet,” McDonough told the mayor and council.

The city starts to replace the vehicles when they reach about 80,000 miles.

Police Chief Terry Sult said the old cars typically are auctioned and bring about $70,000 each. He said the state’s police training facility may be interested in purchasing some of the cars.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.