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Ronan Police Department replaces old patrol units

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RONAN – Santa Claus came a little early this year for the Ronan Police Department thanks to the addition of three brand new patrol vehicles.

The 2019 Dodge Chargers, which have been on the streets since the first of the month, replaced the department’s well used 2002 Chevy Tahoe, 2006 Ford Crown Victoria and 2008 Ford Crown Victoria patrol units according to Ronan City Chief of Police Ken Weaver.

As far as funding for the vehicles, Weaver explained that the new patrol units acquired from Ronan Motors and additional safety equipment were purchased with the approval of the Ronan City Council through a loan program from the State of Montana Board of Investments. 

“For many years the department and city have been purchasing used patrol vehicles from the State of Montana, the State of Idaho and local law enforcement agencies,” Weaver said. “The repair and maintenance on these vehicles were no longer sustainable. These vehicles typically had over 120,000 miles prior to being purchased by the department.” 

Along with the fiscal benefits of reduced expenditures on vehicle repair and maintenance on an aging fleet, public safety also benefits by having fully functional units on patrol rather than parked in the repair shop.

According to Weaver, each of the new cars came equipped with updated technology and electronic systems. The department provided additional budget-saving measures by utilizing and installing equipment recycled from the three retired patrol units.  

In addition to the new squad cars, a “much-needed” street repair in front of the police station was done. 

“Last winter the pavement at the intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue buckled and raised with the expansion of water and caused damage,” said Weaver. “Dan Miller and the Public Works Department addressed the damage by removing the old pavement, lining the project with a water-resistant material and backfilled it with dirt and gravel. Last week, a company repaved the project.”

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