BRADFORD- The Bradford Police Department is getting a new police cruiser to replace an earlier and worn-down model. The new cruiser would be a 2017 Ford Explorer, replacing the department’s 2010 model.
There are many problems with the previous car, says Bradford Police Chief Jeff Stiegler, as it was not a “package” fitted for police use. When a police department orders a new cruiser, it typically comes in a police “package”, meaning it is specially outfitted for the use of law enforcement.
“The problem is the way the safety equipment or communications equipment is, radios and emergency signaling devices are in a blind spot. You literally have to turn completely around in the seat to switch a radio channel, talk with EMS or Fire or a different channel with the state police whatever the case may be.” Stiegler said.
Another issue with the older model not being a package is the seats, according to Stiegler. The backseats are made of cloth, which can serve as a big problem when transporting citizens.
"Lots of times with intoxicated people in the back seat there's defecation, there's urination, there's vomiting from the condition they might be in, and when that happens once you really are never going to reverse that ‘damage’, if you will. You can't hold it against the person, really, for not being able to control themselves because of an overconsumption of alcohol or using a drug or something like that. It's a bad thing.”
Stiegler also mentions that the 2010 model has gone through a lot of maintenance over the past few years.
"The other vehicle that we have, the 2010, it's tired. It had a lot of repairs done last year ... it needs tires, so its going to become more problematic as a police cruiser." Stiegler said.
The Bradford Police Department has two cruisers, a 2010 and 2013 model, but the town’s terrain requires both cruisers to be in top condition, especially during winter and spring seasons.
"As police officers in the town of Bradford, what we need is a vehicle that's able to get to areas like Wrights Mountain, Hackett Hill, we have some pretty steep terrain and we get some pretty muddy roads that I've seen tractors pull some cars out of during the spring time. I cannot, in good consciousness, even if someone wants something as simple as a VIN check done out on a muddy road, say 'No, you'll have to come see us in a couple weeks when the roads are better.' We have to be able to go and accommodate people for the smallest call to the biggest call." Stiegler said.
Stiegler says that the town’s capital reserve will be paying for the new cruiser.