By Jocelyn Pedersen
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Noble has acquired four new police cars which Police Chief Keith Springstead said are “instrumental in creating excitement within the department and in the community.”
The 2013 Dodge Chargers were acquired through a state contract lease/purchase agreement and the department will own them outright after four years. A cost analysis showed leasing four brand new vehicles with new car warranties would extend the life of the vehicles and therefore their use in the community.
Each officer driving the new cars has gone through vehicle and equipment training. They came with radar, lights, sirens and prisoner partitions and were fitted with decals and radios after delivery. Springstead said he hopes to take this lease/purchase model forward so fleet management can rotate new vehicles in while maintaining older ones. He said he appreciates the support in acquiring the new squad cars.
“I appreciate the mayor, council and the City Manager for their continual support for public safety and sharing our vision of providing big town service with the small town neighborhood atmosphere,” Springstead said, adding that he feels fortunate that they bought into his vision on how to run the department. He acknowledged that any chief who has that support and freedom to move a department in a certain direction is fortunate.
The new cars have updated decals, too. Springstead said they changed the decals to incorporate a more professional community-oriented logo that would promote public trust and confidence. The decals incorporating the Noble Bears’ colors will be placed on older cars in the fleet over the next several weeks as Chris Johnson at Action Sign and Design can work them in.
“We recognize how lucky we are to work so closely with the school system to accomplish our goals,” Springstead said, giving the example of how the schools provided remote access equipment and helped to install it. He added that the schools have helped in writing grants to help bring funding to the police department.
Sprinstead said Noble and the county commissioners work together on roads within the city limits, which is good because of the small sales tax base available for projects.
“We are able to do more because we work together,” Springstead said. “I find that really unique in Noble.”
By working together and building the fleet over the next several years, Springstead said he hopes to have a car for every officer. He said everyone is always on call and by each officer having his or her own vehicle, it saves time when called back for an emergency, not to mention having a visual police presence in the community.
Each officer is responsible for maintaining and keeping his or her own squad car clean, which Sprinstead said he feels helps officers take pride in their vehicles so they last longer.
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