Evart Police Department awarded $17,250 grant from USDA for new vehicle

EVART — The Evart Police Department will be getting a new ride thanks to a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The department was awarded a grant of $17,250 from the USDA's Rural Development Community Facility Grant program, which funds critical infrastructure in rural communities across the country. The money will go toward the purchase of a new 2016 Ford Interceptor.

“We’re excited to get the new vehicle,” said Evart Police Chief Kendra Backing. “A lot of our job is patrol and traveling to calls, court appearances and more, so it’s important for us to have a safe and fully equipped vehicle with modern technology.”

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, last week announced support for the Evart Police Department receiving the grant.

“Police officers have to cover many miles to protect our families, homes and communities,” said Stabenow in a press release. “This new police car for Evart will help make sure there is always someone there to quickly respond in an emergency.”

The total cost of the vehicle and some additional equipment, such as body cameras, is $41,773. The vehicle will be outfitted with a rifle, an in-vehicle camera and will be four-wheel drive.

To offset the approximately $24,000 cost to the city, the police department will sel its 2010 Ford Explorer and use money from the department’s equipment pool.

“We usually turn in our vehicles around 100,000 miles and the Explorer is right up there,” Backing said. “The equipment pool is where we set aside money each year to prepare for purchasing a new vehicle or equipment, like in this instance.”

Backing said the public will notified how the department chooses to sell the 2010 Ford Explorer, whether it is through auction or accepting bids locally.

The new Interceptor was recently ordered and will take about eight weeks to arrive, Backing said.

“It’s important for us to upkeep our vehicles not only because travel is a large part of our job, but also because transporting other people is part of our job,” Backing said. “Whether they are prisoners, people in custody, victims or citizens, it’s so important to have a safe vehicle to ride in.”