The Mobile Police Department is upgrading their fleet by adding new patrol cars and eliminating older models.

Police Chief James Barber announced Aug. 8 the purchase of 103 new vehicles in this fiscal year to replace the aging cars.

According to a press release, 79 are Chevrolet Caprices, which are currently in the process of being equipped with new mobile data terminals and other technology.

“It is from these vehicles that the officers patrol their respective beats, respond to calls for service and the vehicles bring them all the technology and equipment needed to perform their duties,” Barber said in a statement. “Fresh equipment gives an officer pride in their duty.”

The newly added cars will also bear the new stripe package, which was unveiled in December 2013.

The remaining 24 vehicles are Chevrolet Impalas, which will be used by various officers and detectives. The Impalas will remain unmarked.

The MPD’s previous fleet consisted of many high-mileage and aging patrol cars in which 31 percent had been driven 150,000 to 300,000 miles, officials said. Before the addition of the new vehicles, the department would have 70 vehicles in the garage at any given time and often resulted in two officers patrolling in one vehicle.

Officials say the purchase of new vehicles will greatly reduce the cost of maintenance on such a high number of significant repairs to older model cars.

With the addition of new cars, damaged and high-mileage vehicles can be retired. The move will bring the MPD’s total fleet from 644 to 609.

MPD arrest 70-year old robber

The MPD arrested a man in relation to a robbery at First Community Bank on Cottage Hill Road Aug. 11.

Officers responded to First Community Bank at 6241 Cottage Hill Road after an armed man wearing a mask entered the building, approached a teller and demanded money. The teller complied and the man fled in a red Toyota Tacoma.

David Corley, 70, was located on Hillcrest Road near Girby Road and taken into custody without incident, police said.

According to officials, Corley was transferred to a local hospital for observation after complaining of chest pain. He will be charged with first degree robbery upon release.

Man arrested for sexually assaulting a child for 11 years

The MPD arrested a man Aug. 8 after receiving report he had been sexually assaulting a child for the past 11 years.

According to police, Oliver Bearden, 60, was arrested and charged first degree rape, two counts of second degree rape, first and second degree sodomy and sexual abuse of a child.

Man shot at Red Roof Inn

A man was shot in the abdomen after two unknown men asked him for change for a $100 bill Aug. 8.

According to police, officers responded to Red Roof Inn at 33 E. I-65 Service Road for a report of one shot, where the victim stated he was shot after telling the unidentified men he did not have change for the $100 bill.
The victim was taken to a local hospital.