Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 8, 2014

RLC offers cruiser to Ina PD

By RICK HAYES
rick.hayes@register-news.com

---- — INA — Another offer from a close source has allowed the Ina Police Department to become operable.

Chief of Police Travis Allen said Friday a 2008 Crown Victoria was offered to the department from Rend Lake College.

“They have three squad cars they use for security so they’ve allowed us to use one,” Allen said. “Their chief (of security) requested it to the president of the college (Terry Wilkerson) and he OK’d it.”

Allen said he was approached Friday morning by an officer, Ron Hudson, from the college.

“We’re very fortunate to have it and a working relationship between the departments,” Allen said, noting the college has offered the cruiser for as long as needed.

“That’s how they acted, so I’m assuming we can use it unless they would need it for emergency reasons,” he added.

The Ina Police Department used a squad car from Ewing for a short time Thursday, until the car experienced a mechanical problem. Ewing officials came back to Ina and retrieved the car for repairs.

“We don’t know which one we’ll be using, but right now we’re patrolling with the Rend Lake College car,” Allen said.

Ina Police were left without a squad car when their only two vehicles were involved in accidents this past week. Last Friday night, a black 2013 Ford Interceptor was involved in a collision with an ambulance at the entrance to Good Samaritan Regional Health Center. A second vehicle, a 2008 Crown Victoria, was disabled after being struck by a semi on Interstate 57 on Tuesday night while assisting Illinois State Police with traffic control from another semi accident.

Allen said Friday an adjustor has placed damages at $18,000 for the Interceptor, and has forwarded that information to the village’s insurance company. Allen said he is awaiting word from the carrier whether the vehicle will be repaired or totaled.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office contacted Allen after hearing of the village’s plight and offered a used vehicle under the state’s vehicle surplus purchasing program.

“That may be a route we choose if the Crown Vic is totaled. We’ll definitely see what they have available,” Allen said.