Drivers passing the Bibb County Sheriffs Office Monday morning may have thought they were rolling by the scene of an emergency.
But the sea of blue lights was just the sheriffs office displaying the look of new vehicles.
The new fleet of cars, including Macon police vehicles, signifies a soon-to-be-consolidated Macon Police Department and Bibb County Sheriffs Office.
The word police on the new Macon police vehicles will be replaced with sheriff, the badge will be replaced with a star, and Bibb will be added to Serving Macon.
Recently, the sheriffs office received 15 2013 Dodge Chargers and two Dodge trucks for crime scenes and the detention center. And Macon police received 26 2013 Chargers and nine 2013 Chevy Impalas.
Also new to the fleet will be a 2013 Ford Expedition methamphetamine response vehicle, which is not yet on the road.
They were all purchased using SPLOST funds showing good use of the penny sales tax, Sheriff David Davis said.
New equipment in the patrol vehicles includes new computers, multiband 800-megahertz radios, digital video recorders, state-of-the-art radar units, stop sticks, Colt AR15 or Ruger Mini patrol rifles, Remington 870 12-gauge shotguns and heavy-duty, wrap-around push bumpers.
Were glad to have them out there, Davis said.
Consolidating the departments is going well, Davis said.
I cannot say enough about the cooperation between the Macon police command staff and the sheriffs office command staff, he said.
Interim Macon Police Chief Mike Carswell agreed, saying the new vehicles are a welcome addition to the department. The new fleet, Carswell said, helped boost officer morale during a period of uncertainty as the departments merge.
Davis said the unknowns of a consolidated force go beyond the police department.
There are a lot of unknowns, he said. Neither office will be the same as it is now.
Davis said he continues to tell his staff that the sheriffs office is changing.
Were creating a new agency, he said.
The level of communication is helping quell uneasiness at the police department, Carswell said.
We get a briefing every week (from the sheriffs office), he said. It takes away the unknowns.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.