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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Police may take to the golf carts

By William Kincaid
ROCKFORD - The Rockford Police Department may be patrolling the streets in golf carts if Police Chief Paul May gets his way.
May made the suggestion to help the village save money on fuel prices during the regular council meeting on Tuesday evening.
"We're just looking to patrol the streets," May said, pointing out a golf cart would not be used for traffic stops.
So far this year, the police department has spent $3,800 on fuel, Village Administrator Jeff Long told the newspaper.
According to May, a golf cart would cost between $3,000 and $4,000. However, the specific details about the type of cart - electric or gas - and possible savings to the village were not provided.
Councilman Greg Pontsler was dubious of the proposal, stating the police wouldn't be able to pull anyone over in golf carts. May once again stated the cart would be for patrol only.
"I'm not a magician; I don't know when something is going to happen," May said about crime and patrol routes.
Long said he wished council members would have agreed to his suggestion last summer of purchasing a hybrid police cruiser, which he says could have gotten 60 miles a gallon.
Instead, council members approved purchasing a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser for $31,274 through Statewide Ford Lincoln Mercury, Van Wert, in June 2007.
Pontsler suggested increased use of police bicycles, which May said his department already has started.
Councilman Ron Searight wondered what the response time to an incident or scene would be using a golf cart, while others pointed out a police car would be needed anyway if an arrest were to be made.
Council members took no action on the proposal but asked that more information be provided at the next meeting on June 16.
- William Kincaid
Additional online story on this date
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