A decision made seven years ago by Sheriff Morris A. Young turned into an unexpected gain June 24 for police departments in Havana, Midway, Gretna and Quincy.
“When I took office, 90 percent of our vehicles had high mileage and were not in good shape. We sought out a vehicle lease program, and today we have replenished our entire fleet,” Young told the police chiefs who had gathered in his office to receive the vehicles.
While the donated vehicles are not new, most are models from 2006 and 2007, they are certainly useable and can help extend the life of older vehicles in service in other municipalities.
Young praised the program and said he hoped all the municipalities could get in on the same or similar lease plan which has worked so well for the sheriff’s office.
He recalled that, as an officer, he was attempting to answer a call and the vehicle he was driving broke down. Young said he had to wait for a major to come pick him up and take him to the call.
Midway City Manager Auburn Ford Jr., the only manager present when Young signed the car titles over to the cities, lauded Young for the cooperation and help he has given to the municipalities.
“This is what it’s all about — working together. The bottom line is we want to keep all of Gadsden County safe,” Young said.
Gretna received two police vehicles, Havana received one police vehicle, Midway received two police vehicles and a vehicle for the fire chief and Quincy received two police vehicles.
“We certainly appreciate Sheriff Young for seeing the opportunity to help us expand out fleet and to offer better service to the citizens of Gretna,” said Antonio Jefferson, Gretna’s city manager.
The vehicles will have to be repainted with the markings of the cities they have been given before they are ready for patrol.