New police cruisers for Cumberland

Published 10:54 am Monday, April 9, 2018

The City of Cumberland has acquired three new police cruisers, with the purchase being largely funded by grant money from the Department of Agriculture and the Robert E. Frazier Foundation.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this grant process which enabled our police department to be able to provide the City of Cumberland with a dependable police fleet,” Cumberland City Police Chief Cody Williamson said.

According to a press release, the cruisers include a pair of 2018 Dodge Chargers and a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. The Department of Agriculture awarded the City of Cumberland funding on a 55/45 percent matching grant for the purchase of police cruisers. The matching grant money was awarded to the Cumberland Police Department through the Robert E. Frazier Foundation.

Cumberland Mayor Charles Raleigh explained how the purchase was accomplished.

“The city received grant money a few years ago from the USDA and the Frazier Foundation,” Raleigh said. “The Frazier Foundation gave the city the match so they could pay for the cars because we didn’t have the funds at the time. But, due to the fact that some bond payments had not been paid over the years, we couldn’t use the USDA money.”

Raleigh said the city is now current with the bond payments.

“We now have that current, so we could go back and apply,” Raleigh explained. “We did go back and apply and got the money awarded again from the USDA and the Frazier Foundation. The (price) of the cars had gone up a little over the years we had to wait, so the city actually put in about $8,000.”

Raleigh pointed out the new vehicles are fully equipped and ready to be put into service.

The release states Williamson said Cumberland Mayor Charles Raleigh, City Clerk, Robin Smith, Cumberland City Police Sgt. Allen Layne, Bobbie Gothard and the Cumberland City Council were instrumental in ensuring that the process was a success.

“I’m really hesitant to start naming names, because I’m afraid of leaving someone out,” Williamson said. “These three new cruisers have really helped us, but we are still in need of obtaining more new cruisers to upgrade our fleet.”

The Cumberland Police Department has not been able to obtain new cruisers since 2009. Raleigh mentioned the older vehicles were creating high repair bills.

“We have one right now with a transmission out in it,” Raleigh said. “Others have had front end problems. They are used a lot, and they do wear out. This will help us phase out the older cars. Hopefully, from here on out we can keep a good rotation and buy a few cars every few years so we don’t have them breaking down.”

The release states the other vehicles in the Cumberland Police Department’s fleet have at least 100,000 miles on them. The new pickup truck will enable officers to patrol more efficiently during inclement weather and access areas within the city where a 4-wheel drive is needed.

Raleigh is committed to assisting the Cumberland Police Department in its endeavors to obtain additional new cruisers, according to the release.