City Council Approves Vehicle Purchase for J.P.D.

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 14, 2020 at 2:30pm

The Jacksonville City Counsel voted unanimously last night to wave advertising for bids on a vehicle for the police department.

The counsel approved a bid from Bob Ridings in Taylorville for the purchase of a 2020 Jeep Cherokee for the Jacksonville Police Department last night.

Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford says that the new vehicle will be used by the Drug Enforcement Officer within the department.

We have one officer that is on loan to the Drug Enforcement Agency in a mutual agreement, and through that agreement, we provide a vehicle for that officer. He does a lot of traveling back and forth to Springfield as well as other areas of the state for meetings and investigations. It’s not feasible for him to take a marked squad car to those events. He had a vehicle that has some age on it and it is time for an upgrade so, we had some money left over in our federally fore fitted funds account, and with those we asked the counsel for permission to just to replace that vehicle.

Mefford said in committee of the whole that the current vehicle used by the Drug Enforcement Officer has an electrical issue with the transmission and is estimated to cost between $4,000 and $5,000 to repair. Mefford said that he researched vehicles via other law enforcement agencies to narrow down which type of vehicle to pursue and found that the Jeep Cherokee SUV best fit the needs of the department.

Mefford said that the Police Department tries to keep large purchases such as vehicles local, but that considering the nature of the needs this vehicle will fulfill, it was easier and more cost effective to utilize the State of Illinois bid program for vehicles. He said that by using the state bid system, the city will save approximately $10,000 off the vehicle price.

Mefford said that he’s confident the final price will come in under the approved bid from Ridings. He said that after a review of the options sheet in the bid, he found there were some included options that the department would not need on this vehicle.