About two months ago, the police department received two U.S. Army High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, also known as humvees or hummers, at no cost through a military surplus program.
The fire department also purchased a 1995 model heavy rescue truck for $8,500 through an online used fire truck dealer, Fire Chief Matt Missildine said.
These specialized vehicles give the departments more resources to protect citizens without spending an excess of taxpayer dollars, according to Missildine and Police Chief Chris Carden.
“This was a real cheap way to be able to carry a lot more equipment without that big of an investment, and that was the key,” Missildine said. “We got it for a steal.”
The rescue truck is built like a beverage delivery truck with side panels that roll up for quick access. The truck itself has no special capabilities, but the storage space it provides is much-needed, Missildine said.
“Right now, we have equipment piled in trucks, and it’s not efficient or safe,” he said. “This rescue truck will give us the ability to organize and carry more specialized equipment, which will be good in all situations, but particularly for technical rescues and hazmat situations.”
Carden said the all-terrain, four-wheel drive police hummers, one a pickup truck variation, will allow police access to rough areas in several types of emergency situations, as well as a way to transport equipment.
“This is not something we would have purchased, but it is a great resource for a lot of reasons,” Carden said. “Citizens will obviously not see these hummers doing our daily patrols, but in certain situations they will be invaluable.”
The low-mileage vehicles, one with about 2,500 and the other with 3,000 miles, were allotted to Sylacauga police through the U.S. Defense Logistics Agencies 1033 program that allows for the reutilization of government property by local law enforcement for free.
“The 1033 program is a great way for us to have access and use things that we just cannot afford with our current budget,” Carden said. “We have been fortunate enough to begin receiving some equipment that, although not new, is completely serviceable and is an additional vehicle in our fleet.”
Through the efforts of Sgt. Matt Emlich, the police department has also received a flatscreen television, laptop computer, tools, tool boxes, boots and gear bags through the 1033 program.
“I don’t know why every police department doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity,” Carden said.
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