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Purchase of 4-wheel drive squads pays off

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

“Some people questioned why we bought four-wheel drive vehicles,” Mayor Rick Gottman said at Tuesday’s city council meeting, “This is why.”

Gottman was referring to the use of the police department’s new SUV and truck around the clock for three days because of this week’s winter storm.
“It was a good thing that we had them, because we couldn’t have gotten around,” Gottman said.
Gottman said all officers used the four-wheel drive vehicles – the squad vehicles for Chief Jeff Ray and Detective Todd Wagner – on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Not only that, but the vehicles were also made available for other emergencies.
Gottman said that because of the bad roads, “There was concern about getting ambulances to people.”
The mayor said that the police department notified both Fayette County Hospital and Altamont ambulance services that they would, if needed, transport emergency medical personnel.
Alderman Jerry Swarm, chairman of the council’s public safety committee, also mentioned the decision to purchase some four-wheel drive vehicles.
“This was the scenario that we talked about,” Swarm said. “I’m glad that we had that discussion, and glad that we did it.”