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Police get new cars from drug funds
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The Covington Police Department is getting nine new cars, thanks to forfeited drug funds.

Eight Dodge Charger patrol cars and one Chevrolet SUV will be purchased from Ginn Motors. The vehicles will already include the required law enforcement equipment, installed at Ginn - who had the lowest bid for the cars and SUV.

CPD Chief Stacey Cotton said that the patrol cars would not replace existing vehicles, but be additions to the fleet they currently have. The SUV will replace Assistant Police Chief Almond Turner's current vehicle, which is a 2004.

Cotton said the CPD follows guidelines set forth by the Department of Justice when it comes to drug money.

Once the monies go through court action, they become forfeited and the CPD can seize it to use only in purchases for law enforcement. Although it cannot be used to pay things like salaries, the money can be used for anything from uniforms to guns - anything that benefits law enforcement.

"There are very strict rules," Cotton said.

Any purchase more than $20,000 has to have city council approval and all purchasing has to be accounted for in the same way the city of Covington would. They also have to participate in an annual evaluation with the Department of Justice and account for what money was spent and on what.

Cotton brought the car purchase in front of Covington's city council Monday night and the council approved his purchase.