The Horseshoe Bend Police Department received word they are eligible to purchase two police cars for $1 each if the city agrees to place advertisements on the patrol cars.
After hearing about a program through Government Acquisitions LLC, a company in Charlotte, N.C., the HBPD applied Nov. 20 for two vehicles as part of a program under the Homeland Security Act, said Police Chief Fred Mitchell.
Usually the ads are placed on the hood, side or rear of the vehicle. In return, Government Acquisitions will provide new patrol cars to the department for the sum of $1. The vehicles will be replaced every three years and the company keeps the revenue from the advertisements.
Mitchell said the department learned about the program when patrolman Sonny Gerringer graduated from the Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pocahontas last month.
Mitchell said smaller municipalities around the country have signed contracts and departments have expressed an interest in the program.
Mitchell said the ads cannot come from alcohol, gun or gambling interests or tobacco companies. He said the city has the authority to reject certain advertisements if they are not considered appropriate.
Last year $66,000 was spent to purchase three Chevrolet Impalas, Mitchell said. The program could save the city around $23,000 a year, he added.
Even though the city received word they are eligible for two police cars, Mitchell said the city is still exploring the program to see if it will work. He said certain guidelines, rules and regulations have to be followed. He said those guidelines have been turned over to city attorney Jim Short for review. "The jury is still out," Mitchell said.
Mayor Bob Spear said the police department is in need of at least one new vehicle. Spear said Gerringer's 1994 Crown Victoria needs mechanical repairs.