Powder Springs Police Chief Charlie Sewell hopes that the city can make enough money from the sale of two fully equipped Harley Davidson motorcycles to possibly purchase a new patrol vehicle.
But first, the City Council must approve the motorcycles, as well as three other vehicles—a 2004 Crown Victoria, a 1994 Chevrolet Yukon, and a 1990 ambulance—as surplus at Monday’s meeting. The five items would then be sold on the GovDeals website.
Powder Springs originally paid roughly $12,000 for the motorcycles, and since a Harley Davidson “keeps its value,” Sewell said its possible for the city to actually make a profit from the sale.
The chief said that from the city’s perspective, the motorcycles are typically useful for just special events.
“So they’re just sitting there collecting dust for the purpose of one or two events a year,” Sewell told council members at Thursday’s work session. He later added: “We really just don’t have a need for that. I’m not saying they don’t have a use, but they don’t have a huge use for us.”
He recognized that motorcycles are good for navigating heavy traffic but that the city doesn’t have hardly any congested roads. They can provide “a little bit more stealth” for writing tickets, he added, but “I’m not about hiding in the bushes.”
“There are plenty of people flying down the road—we can catch them with a motorcycle or a car,” Sewell said, adding that police also can’t transport prisoners on motorcycles and they’re not safe.
The Crown Victoria has 100,000 miles on it and has been used for spare parts, Sewell said, noting it would cost too much to repair.
The Yukon has 154,000 miles, the chief said. The ambulance was turned into a SWAT vehicle years ago, he added.
“It’s not been used in 10 years, and we will not have a SWAT team,” Sewell said. “We don’t need a SWAT team—there are plenty of SWAT teams in the county, so why would we want to expend the money to train and equip these folks?”
Sewell said the suggested life of a police vehicle is 60,000 miles because of escalating maintenance costs and metal fatigue.
“I would never suggest to you that we’re a city that could afford to replace the cars at 60,000 miles,” he told council members, “but I would hope that we wouldn’t have one over 100,000 miles.”