Prince George County helps wrench Petersburg police fleet back to life

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- There are nearly two dozen Petersburg Police cars sitting at the city garage, waiting to have mechanical problems fixed and to pass inspection.

It was a sight that upset Percy Ashcraft, a Prince George County administrator. He said "it was very disturbing."

"We can help them,” he said.

So he reached out to the Petersburg Police Department, who were given permission by the beleaguered city department to take over maintenance of the fleet.

And just like that, as of Friday morning, minor repairs were being made from inside the Prince George county garage.

"Now if there's major parts that need to be purchased, whether it be a fuel pump or alternator or something, tires, something significant like that, then we've asked them to cover that cost,” Ashcraft said.

He said in the big picture that helping Petersburg is helping the region.

"If we can help them get that fleet stabilized, then that will be less reliance on Mutual Aid that any of us would have to have,” he said.

Petersburg just this week had reached an agreement with two city shops, Merchant's and Leete Tire, to help with repairs.

The bonus of having Prince George added, and with no labor cost, is certainly a benefit at a time Petersburg could use a lift.

"This helping of maintaining these vehicles is, it's really a very good day for us in Petersburg, when our neighbors are acting neighborly, we really appreciate everything that Prince George is doing,” said Dironna Belton, Petersburg Acting City Manager.