The Winston Police Department unveiled its three new police vehicles Friday.

The new 2019 Dodge Durangos were on display in front of City Hall along with a 2018 Dodge Charger that was recently converted to a K-9 unit vehicle.

The sleek new SUVs are painted black with a new graphics package featuring grey stars and a prominent, blue stripe above “City of Winston.”

The city implemented a $3 public safety fee in order to pay for the vehicles, two of which were purchased using a loan from the sewer plant fund. The fee and funds transfer generated controversy as some residents told Winston City Council they already pay too much on their water and sewer bills.

Winston City Manager Mark Bauer said the cars needed to be purchased because the city’s three 2010 Dodge Chargers were beyond their lifespan. He said they were spending too much time in the shop and creating a safety risk to the city’s police force.

“We had to haul two of our line cars to the shop in the last two weeks,” Bauer said Tuesday. “We just couldn’t go any longer.”

He said there’s no painless process when cities need to purchase something while managing depleted funds, adding the fee will create a long-term funding mechanism for replacing police vehicles.

“This was the best way to go about doing this,” Bauer said.

Max Egener can be reached at megener@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4217. Or follow him on Twitter @maxegener.

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City Reporter

Max Egener is the city reporter for The News-Review. He has a master's degree from the University of Oregon, and is an avid skier and backpacker.

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