COVINGTON, KY – Tuesday afternoon, the City of Covington issued the first of 31 new Police vehicles to its fleet. The new vehicles will help to increase safety throughout the City and ensure the Police Department is provided reliable transportation to effectively respond to the needs of citizens. (See below for photographs).
Assistant Chief of Police Robert Nader stated, "We are very appreciative of the Mayor, Commissioners, and City Hall, and ultimately the citizens for the purchase of the new police vehicles. These new vehicles will help to ensure that our officers respond to your residence or business safely.
“They have the newest safety features, including all-wheel drive, which will help us get to a scene in any weather. The vehicles also have more efficient motors and, being brand new, they will be reliable. Again, we would like to thank the public for their continued support."
On July 12, the Mayor and City Commission realized the need for the new vehicles and approved the purchase of 32 vehicles, 31 of which will be added to the Police Department’s fleet.
The approval allows the Police Department to replace its older fleet vehicles with top quality vehicles, increasing the overall safety and efficiency in Covington. Specific vehicles include 13 Ford Police Interceptor SUVs and 18 Ford Fusion Sedans. (Please note, one van was purchased to be used amongst all City departments).
Mayor Sherry Carran stated, “Our priority is first and foremost the safety of our citizens. The addition of the new vehicles will serve as a vital asset in enabling the Police Department to continue providing its citizens with the highest level of service.”
The issuance of the new police vehicle follows other good news regarding the Police Department throughout the year.
On October 18, the Mayor and City Commission approved the two-year Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract Lodge #1 for calendar years 2016 and 2017. FOP membership and City administration signed the contract on October 28.
Specifics of the contract include a 10 percent increase in starting pay for new police officers per year retroactively to January 1, 2016, along with all other 2016 wage increases for other police officer ranks. The pay increase adds a competitive edge to the City’s continued efforts to recruit and retain the highest quality of police officers.
Additional improvements made this year include the approval to purchase over $500,000 in state-of-the-art body camera technology, authorization of four new police officer positions since last winter, as well as the creation of the civilian Computer Forensic Analyst position.
The Police Department currently has 108 staffed police officers, including Academy recruits, out of the 110 officers the department is allotted to hire.
City Manager Larry Klein stated, “Through increased staffing, more competitive wages in all ranks including a 10% increase in starting pay approved recently by the FOP and Mayor and Commissioners, state of the art body cameras, and new vehicles, the City continues to proactively invest in public safety.
“The Mayor and Commissioners also recently approved more than $3 million in new equipment for the Fire Department including a new ladder, two new pumper trucks and two new ambulances with a power cot system to place patients in the back of the ambulance that will provide physical relief to paramedics.
“We want to make sure both our citizens, Police Department and Fire Department are receiving the highest level of resources available to provide them with the safety they deserve.”
While timeline is tentative, the City plans to issue more of its new police vehicles to put into service within the next several weeks.