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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Mitchell Police Department is in need of vehicles and officers

MITCHELL - JUNE 6, 2023 - The Mitchell City Council is considering the leasing of two police cars and is down to three officers according to Mitchell Police Chief Troy Loboski.


Photo: Mitchell Police Department is in need of new police vehicles, the Mitchell City Council is considering leasing two police vehicles


" We have several police cars, but some will not make it around the block, "said Mitchell Mayor Nathan Jenkins. " They are just worn out,"


" These cars are just drove hard, all the time," added Jenkins.


" They did not maintain the vehicles on time, once the cars reach 100,000 miles these vehicles start nickel and diming you to death," said Mitchell Police Chief Troy Loboski.


" The last two cars that we had worked on had a timing chain repair with over 125,000 miles on the car," Loboski added. " The other car had a racking pinion needs repaird and that already had been crashed and cannot be driven. We have a Ford Tarus out there; the transmission is slipping on it. We have been using it with the other cars down, but when it's going to go out, we do not know,"


" The amount of equipment that goes into each police officer, you cannot leave your police car. Use to all we had was a flash light and ticket book, as well as what was on your belt. Today, you cannot do that anymore and a trunk load of equipment. Our officers are on call 24 hours of the day based on what kind of incident we may have,"


Many from the public questioned why the City of Mitchell has take home police cars for each officer.


" If you leave them at the police station this adds to your time, which increases your public risk," added Loboski. " So take home cars are better, maintained by those officers because they know what the schedule is,"


" If it needs an oil change, the officer goes and gets the oil change on the vehicle,"


The city is considering two vehicles, and looking at lease just like the trash truck the city is considering in leasing. Maintenance of these vehicles will be a part of the lease. By doing the lease we will not be out the money on maintenance of these vehicles. If their is a problem with the vehicle it will fall on the warranty of the vehicle. Once the lease is expired the city will trade the vehicle back in.


The police department is considering a 3–4-year lease. At four years the vehicle will be about 100,000 miles, and that is usually when you start having problems with the vehicles.


Larry Caudell responded to the questions about having taken home vehicles having better visibility of having a police officer out on the road with the vehicle makes on and off duty is a benefit to the community.


Once the two police cars are purchased, the city will look at placing the police vehicles on a rotation program of replacing the others.


The vehicles will be purchased out of the budget allocated to the police department and funds specifically for police equipment.


MITCHELL POLICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT FULLY STAFFED


There is only three police officers employed by the Mitchell Police Department. According to Mitchell Mayor Nathan Jenkins the police department had six police officers.


" You are not paying the officers enough," responded Mitchell Police Chief Loboski when responding to the staffing issue.


The Mitchell Police Department lost one officer to Bedford Police Department and lost one police officer to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. The other officer just decided he no longer wanted to be a police officer.


Larry Caudell responded that they increased the salary $8,000 more. " You are to far behind, and way to late in providing pay increases for the police department," responded Loboski.


" We tried to get one officer, and he was in the Bedford process, and our process and really wanted to get him. But he made $10,000 more they have more people working, more equipment, more opportunity for advancement, and more opportunity for training," added Loboski.


" If you want police protection, you are going have to pay for it,"


The members of the public asked why the City of Mitchell cannot pay for public safety and President Larry Caudell responded " We have other bills to pay,"


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