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Morris Police Department looks to auction squad cars

The city of Morris is discussing auctioning off at least five police squad cars with the funds going back into the city's general fund.
The city of Morris is discussing auctioning off at least five police squad cars with the funds going back into the city's general fund.

MORRIS – It’s out with the old and in with the new for the Morris Police Department.

The department is looking to auction off four former vehicles and purchase four new.

The city has already converted four former police squad cars into civilian vehicles and is discussing auctioning them off later this month. The funds raised through the auction will funnel back into the city’s general fund.

The vehicles that will be auctioned are outdated and several have more than 130,000 miles on them, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said.

“One hundred thousand miles of in-town, police driving is really rough on a vehicle,” Dite said. “By that point, they have lived out their life cycles.”

The city’s Judiciary and License Committee discussed the auctions and approved the purchase of four new vehicles during Monday’s committee meeting.

The new vehicles will cost about $27,400 each and will be paid for through the police department’s budget, Dite said.

The committee also made a positive recommendation for the Morris City Council to pass the ordinance needed to allow the auction of the old vehicles.

The auction would take place in the municipal building parking lot. Bidding will most likely be opened after the ordinance passes at the Monday city council meeting and closed before the following meeting April 21.

Bidders will file their bids directly with the city clerk.

“On [April] 21st, at 10 a.m. the city clerk will open all [the bids],” Mayor Richard Kopczick said during the meeting.

Last year, the department purchased three new police vehicles and has been waiting to sell off some of the older models, Dite said.

The city has seven vehicles that need to be sold including two Dodge Durangos and one Ford Explorer formerly used as police vehicles, and two vehicles seized and forfeited.

But only four have been decommissioned and are ready for auction, Kopczick said.

The cars must have all police markings and equipment removed by the public works department before they can be driven by civilians.

“We reuse whatever equipment that we can,” Dite said.

Kopczick said it is still unclear how much revenue the auction will generate for the city, but he added that it has been a successful fundraiser in the past.

“It all depends on how much somebody is willing to pay for the vehicle,” Dite said. “This is something we traditionally do every year, but it’s different every year.”

The city did not sell any squad cars last year but cycles through the vehicles on a regular basis, Dite said.

Kopczick said the Street and Alley Committee also approved the sale of city-owned vehicles during its meeting last week.

The nonpolice vehicles – which included a few old trucks – will be sold for about $3,200 pending approval from city council to accept the bid, Kopczick said.

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