RINGGOLD, Ga. — Two police cars that were retired from Jacksonville, Ala., soon should be patrolling the streets of Ringgold.
With 70,000 miles on one cruiser's odometer and 110,000 miles on the other's, the Ford Crown Victorias were deemed too worn to stay in service by Jacksonville standards.
So the Alabama city donated the cars to Ringgold, where Police Chief Dan Bilbrey is happy to have them.
"These are used -- but new to us," Bilbrey said. "It's not costing us a penny."
Getting the donated Ford Crown Victorias means Ringgold can retire two of its cruisers, one of which has 170,000 miles and the other 241,000 miles.
Ringgold's old cars are destined for the police department in Braswell, Ga., where they may be refurbished or used for parts, Bilbrey said.
Bilbrey said the Ringgold Police Department got the cars from Jacksonville "because we asked."
Law enforcement personnel get to know each other at training and other events and share information.
"We network," he said.
The donated cars are black and white, which is the color scheme Ringgold is adopting for all of its police vehicles, Bilbrey said, instead of all white.
"That stands out more and is more easily identifiable," he said.
Rick Worley & Son Automotive Collision in Ringgold is repainting the donated cars free of charge.
"It ain't no big deal," Worley said Wednesday. "We got a good department and good guys."
This means Ringgold will have four donated vehicles. The police department has eight police cruisers, including the two from Jacksonville, and two donated surplus military Humvees. Worley also is donating the paint and labor to redo the Humvees.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.