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Park Hills Police Department in Need of New Cruisers

The Park Hills Police Department is in need of new cruisers, according to reports at Monday night's city council meeting.

Six of the department's vehicles are at the end of their life, judging by their mileage, which is more than 100,000. Police Chief Cody Stanley said the department needs two new cars immediately.

Councilman Kevin Theissen, who serves on the financial oversight committee, said Chief Stanley met with his committee to make his case for new cars.

Theissen said that council should purchase one cruiser with cash and then purchase a second either with cash or with a two-year financing plan.

Stanley said he would like to buy Dodge Durangos, which he expects would last two years longer than Dodge Chargers, which are currently used.

The Park Hills Police Department services its own city as well as the City of Bromley, on contract.

The department allows for a home fleet, meaning that officers can take their assigned cruisers home with them so that they can be on duty as soon as they get in the vehicle.

Stanley contends that because the department is small and can't compete with the salaries offered at larger departments, a home fleet program is a good incentive for officers.

Theissen suggested that council should get in the habit of replacing a cruiser each year.

Stanley said if the department could get four new cruisers in the next two years, there would be seven SUVs all from 2015 or newer. Council did not agree to that but is considering a new cruiser every year.

Chief Stanley said that when the first two vehicles are purchased, he will only be able to sell one because otherwise the department would be short one car in reserve.

The one he would sell first has lower mileage but doesn't always start, a problem the department can't figure out how to solve. 

Currently there are eight cars in the department for eight officers, one of which is the school resource officer at Covington Catholic High School who doesn't take his car home. With two new cars, and by selling one, the department would have nine cars with one in reserve, Stanley said.

Councilwoman Sarah Froelich said that she may support buying two cars with cash, but other council members suggested buying just one that way and another through financing.

Council ended up voting for the latter method.

Mayor Kathy Zembrodt said that she had looked into financing and said that one bank offered a 3.55-percent interest rate, but the bank that already does business with the city could possibly offer less than that.

Other banks did not respond, the mayor said.

In other business, council listened to the first reading of an ordinance closing a portion of Amsterdam Road because of construction work. 

Chief Stanley also passed around copies of a door hanger (pictured above) that he plans to distribute to the city's residents about safeguarding their packages delivered through the holiday season. The police department is willing to pick up packages off porches and return them when residents are home. The department has provided this service for five years, he said.

December 1 is Park Hills Day at the Behringer Crawford museum.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor