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New look for town’s police fleet

 

Photos by Ron Leir Checking out the new police cars, from l., are Town Councilmen Victor Villalta, Jesus Huaranga and James Doran, Mayor Ray McDonough, Police Chief Derek Kearns, Sgt. David Strumolo and Sgt. Rich Lourenco.

Photos by Ron Leir
Checking out the new police cars, from l., are Town Councilmen Victor Villalta, Jesus Huaranga and James Doran, Mayor Ray McDonough, Police Chief Derek Kearns, Sgt. David Strumolo and Sgt. Rich Lourenco.

HARRISON –

If there’s ever another superstorm like Sandy – and climate experts are predicting more of the same – look for the Harrison Police Department to come to the rescue of any trapped motorists.

Just take a look at the three newly delivered 2013 Ford Explorer Interceptors and you’ll see why.

They’re still awaiting police decals and installation of radios and computers to check plates and registration and to issue e-tickets, before they’re pronounced ready for patrol duties but when they are, Police Chief Derek Kearns predicts they’ll be among the meanest hunks of black-and-white heavy metal on the road.

“They’re giving us the capability to serve the community in inclement weather like a big storm,” Kearns said. “Before, we had to borrow a rig from the Fire Department to get to folks in high waters.”

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Equipped with heavy plastic front grills, V-6 engines, allwheel drive and hard plastic rear seating for prisoners, these vehicles come with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty from the vendor, Beyer Ford of Morristown, police brass said.

The vehicles’ roomy interior will be adaptable for storing and deploying items like traffic cones and barricades for crowd control purposes in situations such as events held at the Red Bull Arena, Kearns said.

Best of all, officials said, is the payment arrangement. Harrison pays $37,000 — the price of one car — this year but gets all three SUVs now under a 3-year lease/purchase agreement authorized by the town May 7. After it pays off the outstanding balance over the next two years, the town owns the vehicles outright.

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Harrison ordered the cars under a cooperative pricing system engineered by the Cranford Police Department as the “lead agency.” More than 80 municipalities in the state are member/participants in the competitive bidding system, which has been approved by the state Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services.

Among the member communities in the surrounding area are Belleville, Nutley, Secaucus, Weehawken and Jersey City. Two of the new Harrison vehicles are replacements for older models, Kearns said.

– Ron Leir

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