When Fordland Police Chief Duane Sanders first touched base with Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams about his department receiving a donated patrol cruiser from the metropolitan force located 25 miles to the west, Williams’ initial estimate was two years.
“I didn’t like hearing that,” Sanders said, smiling.
Yet he remained optimistic.
That optimism was justified three months later when the Springfield Police Department called and said a patrol unit was available, a sport-utility type of model that recently had blown an engine.
“We took possession of the vehicle around the first part of May,” Sanders noted.
In the interim, a new engine had to be found.
About a month ago, Sanders learned everything had been put together, so to speak.
And the first shift for the 2016 Ford Interceptor Utility model, which looks to most like a Ford Explorer, arrived on Saturday, Dec. 12, during the annual Fordland Christmas Parade with the new unit in front.
“We found a low-mileage engine for a very low price,” Sanders explained as he described the process of getting the new patrol cruiser into service. “The (new) engine only had 15,000 miles on it.”
Before the former engine was blown on the Ford Interceptor, it had 120,000 miles.
“There’s still a lot of life left in this vehicle,” Sanders noted. “We’ll be able to have it in service for a long time, especially since the new engine has so few miles.”
The 2016 Ford Interceptor replaces a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria that had been in service for many years, which has a bad transmission.
“Getting (the new vehicle) couldn’t have come at a better time for us,” Sanders said.
He said credit for Fordland’s good fortune goes to the Springfield Police Department, Chief Paul Williams and his support staff.
“They worked hard for us,” Sanders concluded.
“I think they knew our need here in Fordland, and they made something happen for us. If not for their hard work and donation, we wouldn’t have the 2016 Ford that’s serving our community now.”