ASHLAND — The Ashland Police Division will have four new additions in the near future.
Ashland council unanimously approved the spending of $145,000 for four new Ford vehicles — two of which will be pickup trucks.
“We’ve never had a truck,” said Chief of Police Dave Lay. He said the police department often uses the city’s street maintenance trucks or personal trucks for hauling materials such as barricades for parades and other events.
“The last parade, we had barricades and cones we were taking to an intersection and there was a personal truck used,” he said.
Council approved of the ordinance on an emergency basis because, as Mayor Matt Miller put it, Ford Motor Company informed the city of troubles in getting parts required for outfitting law enforcement vehicles.
“And so they will be only accepting orders up until January 7,” Miller said.
Tuesday’s passage of the ordinance meant Lay was able to place the order for the two SUVs and two pickup trucks on Thursday. The vehicles will be delivered by Montrose Ford, a dealer based in Fairlawn, which is about 10 miles northwest of Akron.
Lay said he was not given a date on the vehicles’ delivery. “It took months last time,” he said.
The Detroit-based vehicle manufacturer said in July the company would cut back on production because of an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips impacting the global automotive industry.
Lay said the department typically places orders on vehicles in spring or late winter, but did so earlier this week to get in line for the new vehicles.
It could take a while before the pickup trucks appear on Ashland streets, he said. That’s because it takes some time to receive parts needed to outfit the vehicles for law enforcement uses, he said.
The plan is to replace a police 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe by stripping the police decals and reusing it at the city’s street department. Another, a 2013 Chevrolet Caprice, was sold at an auction last year and another identical car will be prepared to be sold in an auction. The fourth police car will be stripped of its decals and used in the detective bureau as an unmarked vehicle.
The $145,000 is coming from the city’s Police60 fund, which is designated for purchasing police equipment.