Photo: WKYC Channel 3/YouTube
The Police Department of Village of Gates Mills in Northeast Ohio received a donation of a Tesla Model S, which has now been partially converted to a police cruiser. Police Chief Gregg Minichello showed the new cruiser to the public and expressed gratitude to the donor.
"We have a great working relationship with our residents. We do a lot of community service. It's our focus, down here," said Police Chief Gregg Minichello. The good relationship between members of the community led one of the residents to donate a 2019 Tesla Model S with 7,000 miles to the police department. In addition, the donor will pay the cost of converting the car according to the police car regulations and will pay for the installation of the charging station.
Recently, the police department showed the car for the first time after special police stickers were applied to it. However, the cruiser won't officially take to the road until August, as time is needed for its re-equipment. The modernization will be carried out by a Hall Public Safety specialist who is currently considering possible design options. "Lights in the windows. Glass top roof, so we can't put them on the roof. Put them on the back window and on the side of the car. It will be outfitted as much as we can," said Minichello. On July 4, a Tesla Model S police cruiser was officially shown to the local public and led the festive parade.
Before the Model S was donated to the Police Department, the Police Chief had already discussed the issue of transitioning to electric vehicles and was exploring options for replacing one cruiser. He knew the electric car would be well received in the community. "There is a lot of green space and nature lovers. You know, no emissions with this car," Minichello said.
One of the residents who preferred to remain anonymous really wanted to do something meaningful for the Village of Gates Mills, so he made an offer. "It just got to the point that he really wanted to do something. We talked about it and he said that he was interested in donating this particular vehicle to the department," said the Police Chief. "It was kind of intimidating because it is an expensive car," he confessed.
Minichello was very pleased with the performance of the new car, and most importantly with its safety. "I did my research. I talked to other departments who fitted the Tesla to be a police car. I mean the most important thing for me is safety, is it practical down here, and it is. All-wheel drive vehicle, it's safe. There are 9 cameras on there for office safety. It handles well," he said.
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