Red Bank police, fire departments adding new vehicles

Red Bank police, fire departments adding new vehicles

March 23rd, 2011 by Katie Ward in Community Hixson

Red Bank City Manager Chris Dorsey, left, and Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol tell local residents that the police department will soon have a new four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle. Photo by Katie Ward

Red Bank City Manager Chris Dorsey, left, and...

Red Bank Fire and Police departments are both adding a new four-wheel drive vehicle for emergency response to their fleets.

"We need to be able to access wooded areas and hilly areas," said Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol. "We were out in a Dodge Intrepid in the recent storm. We had to climb over trees to get to homes where trees had fallen. In a four-wheel drive vehicle we could have accessed it."

He said he is glad no one was seriously injured in the recent tornado. He said the new vehicles will make it easier to access traverse terrain, so that officers and firefighters can more easily transport injured citizens in the future.

Red Bank Mayor Monty Millard had reservations about the police department's $23,830 SUV purchase, which will be entirely funded from the department's drug fund.

"Our drug fund only has $60,000 to $80,000 in it," he said. "The state of Tennessee will no longer pick up the tab for meth lab cleanups. That will fall on the cities. It could be $3,000 and up. It would only take a few large instances to clean out the drug fund."

Christol said the average cost of a meth lab cleanup is $4,000, but cleaning up an entire house could cost $25,000.

Commissioner John Roberts was the only commissioner to vote against the police purchase of a new Ford Explorer Sports Utility Vehicle.

Red Bank Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $24,199 new Marshall Mize Ford four-wheel drive pickup truck to replace the fire department's totaled Dodge Charger.

City Manager Chris Dorsey said the new fire department pickup truck will cost a lot less than citizens might think.

"We were able to get $19,225 in insurance recovery to cover most of the cost of the fire truck," said Dorsey. "We will spend $4,974 for the truck out of the city's general fund."

Christol said the city is getting "really good deals on the vehicles."

"The retail sticker for both vehicles is $32,000," he said.

Red Bank Commissioner Ruth Jeno told citizens at the meeting if they see something suspicious going on in their neighborhoods to call the police department. She said it will take everyone working together to put a stop to meth.