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Algood Officials Mixed Bag On Marking All City Vehicles

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Algood Officials Mixed Bag On Marking All City Vehicles

An Algood ordinance that would require any city-owned vehicle to prominently display decals got a mixed reaction from city officials.

During a Monday night city council work session, council members and Police Chief Dale Armour weighed the benefits of having unmarked police vehicles with prominently marked vehicles. Armour said there have been several instances recently where the unmarked vehicle proved to be a benefit to police work.

“Last Freedom Fest, Cookeville had cars broken into,” Armour said. “I put an unmarked car in the parking lot and we didn’t have any. So I mean there’s a good, valid point to have a few unmarked cars.”

Armour gave another instance in which the unmarked vehicle was necessary. He said they were able to catch a peeping Tom by setting up an unmarked car and catching him.

“The unmarked cars are something that we use, it’s not something that’s going to be used every day, but it is something we need. We need to have that option,” Armour said. “I would much rather plan something that we don’t have a pursuit out of it than something go down because they see a patrol car and they run.”

On the other hand, Mayor Lisa Chapman Fowler feels that any city-owned vehicle should be prominently marked. She said that she’s heard from several citizens that feel unsafe if the vehicle is not marked.

“We’ve had so many citizens talk about issues where they don’t know if it’s our car or if it’s someone else’s car,” Chapman-Fowler said. “And so my position has been if you’re not doing anything that you shouldn’t be doing, it doesn’t matter. We ought to have Algood on all of the cars.”

“And I don’t think we do much undercover work, and I’ve never seen an unmarked car thwart a crime over a marked vehicle. I think they should all be marked. But I’m just one of five.”

The council will vote on the ordinance at its meeting Tuesday.


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