Christmas came early … or late, depending upon one’s perspective, to the East Ridge Police Department and the municipal court.
On Thursday morning at City Hall, police and officials from the court took delivery of a new Ford transport van.
East Ridge Municipal Court Clerk Patricia Cassidy said that the 12-passenger van used to ferry prisoners from the Hamilton County Jail and Silverdale to court replaces a 25-year-old relic that was used for that purpose.
“(Officers) deserve this,” Cassidy said of the new van that was purchased from the court budget. “Our guys need good equipment to do their jobs in a safe way.
“That old van was bought used and it was lots of trouble,” she continued. “It wasn’t safe for the prisoners or the officers.”
The 2019 Ford Transit 350 was purchased from Ford of Murfreesboro, officials said. The van was fitted with a state-of-the-art prisoner transport system by On Duty Depot out of Knoxville. The cost of the van and the custom insert was $44,000, which came from court fines paid to the city.
The van has three separate compartments that are capable of carrying a total of 12 prisoners.
Cassidy said that the van will be used by ERPD Reserve Officers Lloyd Chadwick and Doug Roberts to ferry prisoners in custody at the jail and Silverdale for their appearances in municipal court.