To that end, Anniston police Chief Layton McGrady recently asked the City Council to allow the department to donate two of its older police cars to the Ohatchee Police Department.
The cars, two 1997 models that had been replaced, were on a list of seven cars the council had declared surplus vehicles during the meeting, McGrady told the council. The members unanimously agreed to the donation.
It’s not the first time the department has donated police cars to other cities. The department occasionally gets requests from other police departments that are under stress for some reason.
“After Hurricane Katrina, we donated some that we were going to scrap anyway,” McGrady said. “It’s stuff you’re going to get rid of anyway. You don’t get that much for it at auction. If you can help somebody, why not do it?”
It’s not uncommon for cities to donate equipment to other cities, said City Manager Don Hoyt.
“Especially larger cities to donate things to smaller cities,” Hoyt said. “I’ve seen it a million times over the years.”
Still, it can mean a lot to the cities that receive the donations.
Ohatchee Mayor Steve Baswell said the city found itself in need of new cars after one of its police cars was wrecked. The second donated car will be used by the city for general administrative use, he said.
“Our town car, the one we use for general administrative, it stays tied up delivering meals for the senior citizens program,” Baswell said. “It’s just to try to at least get a temporary fix for a long-term problem.”
The police chiefs got together to figure out a solution and contacted Anniston Mayor Gene Robinson to make the request.
Robinson said the donation was a general relationship-building gesture.
“We’re here to help neighboring municipalities and to extend a helping hand to neighboring municipalities,” he said.
Star staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545.