Police Cars Are Parked

Eleven new police cars in Ocean Springs have been parked for about a month while the city sorts through financial problems. Police Chief Kerry Belk had sought the new cars to replace high-mileage vehicles he considered dangerous to drive. The 11 police cars are part of a lease purchase program that will cost the city about $90,000 this fiscal year.

``We would have loved to have the cars on the road sooner,'' he said. ``But the city hasn't had the cash, which has given us some time to do some research and find less expensive ways to outfit the cars.'' By taking sirens, cages, radios and top lights from old vehicles, it should cost the city only $5,000 to completely outfit the cars, Belk said. ``We've been able to use just about everything from the old cars,'' he said.

City Clerk Adrienne Howell said the city is suffering a cash flow problem, but with property taxes expected in January, the police department should be able to get the cars on the road within a few weeks. Belk said once the cars are ready to roll, at least 12 old cars will be put into surplus.