Businessman donates car to IPD

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 14, 2004

It is a common entry on the the Ironton Police Department blotter - a vehicle develops problems while an officer is out on patrol and he or she is forced to bring that vehicle back to the station and trade it for one with fewer problems, or at least problems the officer can live with for now.

With a tight budget and recent layoffs, city leaders have no money for new cruisers. One local businessman has responded to the city's money woes by donating a car to the police department.

Larry Williams, owner of Larry's Used Cars and Auto Parts, of Coryville, has donated a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. Since the donated car is not equipped for law enforcement use, police chief Bill Garland said he will use that car for his official business as chief, and take the car he has been using that does have a police package and put it in the fleet for officers to use.

Email newsletter signup

What prompted Williams to donate the car? "The city needed the help," Williams said. "Anything people can do to help, they should."

How badly does the city need vehicles?

"This is a great help to us," Garland said. "We're short on vehicles right now. The fleet is depleted so badly most of the cars are junk. I have five or six 93 Caprices that are falling apart."

Garland said most of the cars in the IPD fleet have logged anywhere from 150,000 to 250,000 miles. Even the three new cars purchased in 2000 have racked up close to 100,000 miles each.

City council recently allotted $20,000 that was used to purchase four vehicles from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Garland said he is trying to start a program that would assign each officer his or her own specific vehicle.

This would cut down on the often 24-hour-a-day use that some of his cars are getting now. Garland said cars would be more likely to receive better care if it were assigned to an officer who would be responsible for it.

Garland said this is the first time anyone has ever donated a car to the police department.