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Mexico PD gets a Hummer
MEXICO -- By mid-May, the police department will welcome a turtleback Hummer to its fleet.
The 1987 diesel, 6.2 liter, eight-cylinder vehicle was acquired at no charge through a demobilization military surplus program at Ft. Dix, NJ, according to Mexico Police Sgt. Roy Hodsdon. Law enforcement agencies all over the country vie to obtain the surplus items.
On Saturday morning, Sgt. Roy Hodsdon, his wife, Renee, and a half dozen members of Explorer Post 364 were at Roland's Automotive working to prepare the vehicle to join the fleet. With the Mountain Dew chilling in the fridge, Explorers were busy unbolting the seats and other removable items inside the cab, then working outside to remove the decals before washing and cleaning the vehicle.
That work will eventually involve changing the camouflage color of the Hummer to the department's traditional black and white. It will also carry the decals of the police department and the Explorer Post.
Hodsdon said the Hummer, which has logged only 20,000 miles, had been utilized as a training vehicle by the U.S. Air Force. It carries a value of $40,000.
"It's been a long process, he said, noting that they first put in for the program about a year ago. Since then, Hodsdon had kept in constant contact through emails and followup calls.
He said the competition was fierce. Hodsdon said that at one point, there were 40 Hummers available, but that number quickly dwindled to three and those three were not in very good condition.
"This will not be used for our daily patrols. It's going to be used for special details," he said. That includes drug eradication, ATV details, traffic control, parades and Explorer events.
Hodsdon noted that 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.
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 Hummer.
"The cost of maintenance should be minimal. We're trying to keep the cost to the taxpayers as low as possible," said Hodsdon, noting that parts for the Hummer will also be available through the surplus program as well, with the only cost being the shipping.
He said the only condition in the program is that if the department decides to get rid of the Hummer, it has to go back to the military.