In June 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
If you've been on the road in the city of Jamestown in recent weeks you've probably noticed the Jamestown Police Department's new vehicle fleet.
Earlier this year, the city council along with Mayor Brooks Bates approved the purchase of four new vehicles for the department and Police Chief Derek Polston.
Three 2010 Chevrolet Impala cruisers from Franklin Motors were purchased for $65,217 and one 2010 Dodge Charger cruiser from Freedom Dodge in Lexington was bought for $21,880.
The vehicles were purchased to replace the department's aging cruisers, the last one bought in 2004.
“Some had mechanical issues and some had very high mileage for city driving,” he said of the older crusiers. “City driving is a lot different that most with all of the stopping and going, it is hard on a vehicle.”
The vehicle decals were ordered from a graphics shop in Minnesota and took between seven and 10 hours to correctly place on an individual vehicle.
“My wife, Hester, was very instrumental in helping get the designs and graphics on these cars,” Polston said. He said his two daughters also enjoyed helping put on the decals as well.
Polston said the department decided to revert back to the traditional black and white paint scheme that was last used around 13 years ago.
“People will be able to identify one of our cars from any other in the county,” he said.
Reflective material for the decals was also chosen to be highly visible at night.
The decal located on the front fenders is a replica of the department's uniform patch. The decal includes a representation the Monument Square Doughboy.
“I'm just glad the mayor and city council thought it was time to replace our vehicles,” he said. “We've had such positive feedback from the community. It just tickles me to death to hear all of the positive comments on the cars.”
Lt. Tony King's cruiser was the last to get on the roadway just last week. Officers Jeff Kerns and Tracy Irvin's new cruisers hit the streets earlier this spring, just after Polston's Dodge cruiser.
“I think every citizen of the community can be proud of the cars,” Polston said.
Polston said King was also a big help as he installed all the new equipment, cameras and sirens as well as all of the wiring in the new cruisers.
“He's good on electronics and saved the city big time that way,” he said. In addition, Polston said the new vehicles had also improved the morale and day-to-day operations of the department.
The department has entered the decal designs on the vehicles in an online contest for Law and Order magazine, Polston said.
People can get on the website at www.hendonpub.com and vote for the People's Choice award. The Jamestown vehicles are in the municipal under 10 officers, east category. The entries include a short description of the vehicles as well as photos. Polston said the winners of the categories will be announced in the August issue of the magazine.
People of Jamestown are encouraged to visit the site and vote for the department's new designs.
“I think getting these vehicles has been a positive thing,” said Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates. “We felt like it was the thing to do in replacing the vehicles.”
Bates said he left much of the decision-making up to the chief and gave him budget parameters he must have stayed in to get the new vehicles, which Polston did.
The mayor made a suggestion that the next mayor of Jamestown alternate when getting new cruisers for the department and not to make another big four vehicle purchase like the city recently did in this case.
As for now, the new Impalas and Polston's Charger, which accommodates his 6-4 height, will be patroling the city's streets and with just a few weeks until Lakefest makes its return to Jamestown, the presence of the new cruisers will be visible by all who attend.