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Mexico PD shows off Humvee
MEXICO -- The Rumford-Mexico Memorial Day parade marked the first official appearance of the Mexico Police Department's Humvee.
Mexico Police Sgt. Roy Hodsdon said they're getting a lot of positive comments about the sharp looking black Humvee, which he stressed is free cost to the citizens, with the cost of maintenance to be covered by the members of Explorer Post 364.
The 1987 diesel, 6.2 liter, eight-cylinder vehicle was acquired at no charge through a demobilization military surplus program at Ft. Dix, NJ. Law enforcement agencies all over the country vie to obtain the surplus items.
But a lot of work went into making over the Humvee into the vehicle seen Monday.
Hodsdon said they work started on March 28, with the detailing completed on Wednesday.
Several adults, and many of the Explorers worked on days off and evenings while it was parked at Roland's Automotive.
Work included stripping out all unnecessary equipment, complete cleaning and degreasing, interior work and painting. They changed the camouflage color of the Humvee to black, and added the decals of the police department and the Explorer Post. Most of the work involved the doors, which were the roughest part of the exterior due to damage. There was five to six weeks worth of sanding and using body fillers.
As for the results, Hodsdon said, "It turned out better than I thought. When we got it, we didn't know what he had, but it was very well maintained. It has new tires and only 20,000 miles."
"I'm glad it's over. It was a long project, he said, adding that the project built good team skills and taught discipline.
The younger Explorer members also asked to help with the project.
Hodsdon said his department donated emergency lighting, the Rumford Police Department donated a siren, and the Oxford County Sheriff's Office donated light bars. Others donating services or services at cost were Erik Designs, Portland Glass, Advanced Auto Supply, Legion Riders, Roland's Automotive and Empty Pockets.
On the rear of the vehicle is a sticker that reads, "This item received for free from military surplus. Re-utilizing your tax dollars in support of law enforcement."
"Over the last four years, I've seen the dedication the program (Explorers) has brought," said Hodsdon, who noted it was exciting to see young people and adults coming together for a project like this.
Leading the Explorers was Rob Drouin, who is going to school for a vocation in auto body work.
This was also a rewarding project for the Explorers, not just for the experience but because they also take some ownership of the Humvee. "This is a PR took for new Explorer members. The little kids really like it," said Hodsdon.
The Explorers will use the Humvee for parking and traffic details, while the police department will use the vehicle for things like drug eradication and ATV details. It can also be used for rescues in the woods. When the turtleback is opened up, there is plenty of room in which to place a stretcher.
Hodsdon said the Humvee had been utilized as a training vehicle by the U.S. Air Force. It carries a value of $40,000.
The vehicle was transported here on a flatbed, with the cost paid for by the Explorer Post. Hodsdon said the Explorers will also help with the cost of maintenance of the Humvee.
"The cost of maintenance should be minimal. We're trying to keep the cost to the taxpayers as low as possible," he said, noting that parts for the Humvee will also be available through the surplus program as well, with the only cost being the shipping.
Hodsdon said the only condition in the program is that if the department decides to get rid of the Humvee, it has to go back to the military.