Goreville police operate with new squad car
The Village of Goreville recently put a new police car into service equipped with front and rear radar that has already aided in the ticketing of drivers speeding through town.
The Village Board approved the purchase of the vehicle earlier this year at its January 7 meeting with a total cost estimated at $24,236 to be paid over the course of three years.
Goreville police chief Eddie Holland said repairs to the squad’s current vehicles were ongoing and increasing leading to the request for a new, or nearly new, squad car. The new car is smaller and more fuel-efficient and will largely be driven by Officer Trenton Harrison once Goreville’s other police cars are finished with repairs.
“We’re sharing the vehicle right now,” Holland said, adding that the next “newest” vehicle Goreville owns is a 2005 model.
“It’s not so much the miles as it is the hours,” Holland said, explaining that police and emergency vehicles are often left running for hours at the scene of accidents or other situations where lights, computers and communications are required.
Holland said Goreville would retain its current police vehicles and keep them in good order only taking the oldest of the four out of service, which will remain as a backup squad car.
The new vehicle is equipped with front and rear cameras as well as audio recording, which will be in operation at all times the vehicle is in service. Holland said the recordings are kept for at least a year with officers unable to delete any portion of the day’s events.
“The cameras protect us as well as the public from any improprieties,” Holland said. “If a case requires a portion of a recording we can put it on a CD for the court.”
Along with the additional cameras the vehicle is equipped with a computer that will allow officers to run plates and check arrest records at the scene without having to go through the county.
“We’re very pleased with the new car,” Holland said, adding that he appreciated the village board recognizing the need for the new vehicle.
The purchase of a police car was proposed to the village board near the end of last year as repairs on the older cars continued to take a vehicle out of service for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Originally the proposal was for a new, used vehicle until the board reviewed the options available and settled on the cost-saving measures a completely new car would allow.
“A few years into a used police car would have only returned us to where we were,” Holland said. “Little repairs add up quickly and once a car gets a little older those repairs are required more often.”
The new car is already in operation but still has the installation of its “cage” needed. Holland said the new car is less recognizable compared to Goreville’s older cars and that this may contribute to more stops by drivers failing to obey posted speed limits.
“We’ve already had several stops with two leading to arrests and several others that turned up drivers with suspended licenses,” Holland said.