Van added to Shaler police fleet
The Shaler Township Police Department has added the largest vehicle to date to its fleet in an effort to increase officer and passenger safety.
The new Ford 1-ton cargo van was on the road for the first time this month and provides the police officers with partitions to establish a driver area, an equipment compartment and a criminal-transportation area in the rear of the vehicle.
The amount of room in the back of a patrol vehicle is limited because the short distance between the seats is even smaller once the prisoner cage is installed to protect the police officer. Shaler Police Chief Bryan Kelly said it is close to impossible to safely get an uncooperative passenger into the back seat.
“We've had difficulty with the size of the passenger's compartment of the patrol vehicle and accommodating the police officer and safety and prisoners and safety,” Kelly said. “It's been a delicate balance.”
Because of the safety issue, the department purchased the vehicle under this year's budget.
The van was a large financial commitment by the department — totaling about $50,000 for the purchase of the van and the graphics, lighting and interior fixtures, but, Kelly said, the investment was worth it.
“We've had a couple departments who requested we use it (to help transport passengers),” he said.
The van also enables police officers to transport all of their road tools in one location, such as a ballistics shield, road flairs, small ladder and even a pop-up tent to protect evidence at a scene.
This is the first time the Shaler department has had a van with a confinement area in its fleet. Previously, the department had a van it used for its Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, program.
“I think it will work out well,” Kelly said.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.