GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office donated $5,000 Thursday to the Rio Grande Police Department to help fund the purchase of a new 2016 Ford Police Interceptor SUV.
The prosecutor’s office donated money from its portion of the law enforcement trust fund, a fund source that encompasses money collected from forfeited resources acquired by authorities, often by means of drug busts.
According to Lt. Josh Davis, of RGPD, the cruiser still had some finer electronic equipment to be added inside the vehicle. However, he was pleased with the vehicle to soon be added to RGPD’s arsenal.
According to RGPD Chief Chris Dodson, the SUV purchase was perhaps the first new vehicle to be added to the department’s garage since the 1990s — and since the department was reformed in 2007.
“We would first like to thank the residents of the Village of Rio Grande for their continued support of the police department,” Dodson said. “Through their support, we were able to replace our main patrol car that has over 200,000 miles with a new car that will better serve our community. We would also like to thank the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office for their donation toward the new (SUV). This purchase will provide a safer and more dependable platform for our officers to work from and increase our ability to be a more effective police agency.”
According to Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, forfeiture funds are often split, with court approval, with police receiving 75 percent of forfeiture assets and the prosecutor’s office receiving 25 percent. However, Adkins said the office tries to donate that back to law enforcement whenever possible as officers are on the front lines serving the community.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Adkins said. “This isn’t taxpayer money. This is pulled from individuals selling drugs in our communities and breaking the law.”
The prosecutor’s office had also provided funding for a camera in one of RGPD’s cruisers in summer of last year.
“We really appreciate this donation and working hand-in-hand with the prosecutor’s office,” said Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter.
The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor SUVs come in two flavors: a 304-horsepower V6 engine as well as a 365-hp EcoBoost version for pursuit duty.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.