McMinnville officials have approved the hurried replacement of a totaled police department vehicle. Rather than bidding the purchase out, a state contract bid of $21,254 was accepted.
“If you remember, about six weeks ago or so we had one of our cars involved in an accident,” said McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton. “The insurance company has paid off on that. We need to replace the vehicle.”
The incident occurred in front of Plaza Shopping Center when a motorist pulled into the path of the police car, which totaled the vehicle and left the department one car short.
Typically, the police department would generate bid documents for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to consider. The process takes approximately two to three weeks. Then, it’s another 60-90 days before bids are received, one is accepted, and a vehicle received.
Denton says the department needs the vehicle replaced sooner, rather than later, which is why the department chose to accept a state bid and not follow the bidding process that would allow local dealerships to compete.
“Time is of the essence,” said Denton. “This contract would allow us to get a vehicle sooner. I have an officer, a detective, that is in an unsafe vehicle. We need to get that replaced as soon as we can and this will allow us to do that.”
Going with the state excludes local dealerships from possibly making a sale. Denton says he called both dealerships and explained the situation to them.
“We called both local dealers and explained why we were doing what we are doing. They understood,” said Denton.
Officials agreed to the purchase unanimously. In attendance were Mayor Norman Rone, Vice Mayor Everett Brock and Aldermen Billy Wood, Rick Barnes and Jimmy Haley.