WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department has a brand new set of wheels that makes the department more versatile and can get officers just about anywhere quickly.
On Tuesday, the WPD unveiled its new Polaris 500 Ranger UTV (utility side-by-side) vehicle, offering new advantages for connecting to the community and performing other duties.
The department was able to obtain it through a joint donation from the Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB) and Polaris Industries Inc. The donation is worth about $10,000 total.
Police Chief Ron Cravens told the News Journal the WPD has noticed many needs for something like this, especially for the many summer events in the city.
The UTV can be used for directing traffic as well as jobs a regular police cruiser isn’t able to perform, including on the bike trail and in woods and other areas.
The UTV is equipped with a winch and also police light bars and side strobes, and it will soon have logos of the CCCVB and the City of Wilmington.
“That way it’s officially marked, we can patrol with it,” said Cravens.
The UTV will not be used to transport suspects. The arresting officer will contact dispatch, give them their location, and have a cruiser come out to that location.
Cravens believes that not only will the WPD’s new piece of equipment help with law enforcement duties, it will help connect with the community.
“Kids love stuff like this,” said Cravens. “They can come check it out at events and say hi. This can let them know that we’re always there to help.”