INA — Getting a favorable insurance settlement, the Ina Police Department is nearly at full squad car strength again.
Two vehicles were damaged in separate accidents in early February, leaving the department with no vehicles.
Since that time, the department has been using loaned vehicles from Rend Lake College and the Ewing Police Department.
This week, Ina Chief of Police Travis Allen started driving a used vehicle, purchased in Chicago.
“The Village Board had budgeted a new car and in excess of $15,000 for a used car to replace both of our wrecked squad cars,” Allen said. “We have about $11,000 in this one (used). The car was purchased for $9,900, but by the time we put equipment back in it, we had a couple more thousand dollars invested.”
Allen said the purchase came in under budget, allowing the police department to purchase other needed equipment.
“The Village Board was on the fence about whether to purchase a new or used vehicle as our backup. It was my recommendation to purchase a used vehicle and they agreed,” Allen said. “We’re got enough money to buy two new squads, but just because you’ve got the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. We’re spending taxpayers’ dollars here and we need to be as conservative as we can. A used car with 39,000 miles on it is plenty good for me.”
Allen added, “This will be the car I drive. It will be left unmarked. The new car, a 2014 Ford Interceptor, will be marked. I’m going to let my guys have it.”
Delivery on the new car, purchased from Ford Square, is expected to be made by the end of this month. The new car will be equipped by Novacom, a communications company in Herrin.
“Both cars should be ready to roll in May,” Allen projected.