Hard-to-ignore utility vehicle on loan from Cedar Creek Motorsports
At a time when municipal budgets are razor thin, the free use of new vehicles can seem like a godsend.
SAUKVILLE POLICE CHIEF Bill Meloy took the ATV on loan from Cedar Creek Motorsports out for a spin around the police station.
Photo by Mark JaegerJust ask the Saukville Police Department.
Earlier this month, the department took delivery of a bright yellow CanAm Commander all-terrain vehicle, which has a retail value of about $11,000. The one-year loan is courtesy of Cedar Creek Motorsports in the Town of Cedarburg.
The offer came primarily as a way for the dealership to show its support of National Night Out, the annual open house for county law-enforcement personnel that the police department coordinates, according to Mike Krocka, a village trustee and an officer with the police reserves.
“Urban Motorsports used to lend us a vehicle for National Night Out, but then they went out of business,” Krocka said. “Then Officer Emily Neese contacted Cedar Creek, and they said the loaner program was available.”
The dealership has also loaned ATVs to the Port Washington and Glendale police departments. The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department has participated in a similar program for several years.
Because the Saukville department only has use of the vehicle for a year, there are restrictions on how much customizing can be done.
Krocka said flashing emergency lights were installed on the roll bar, drawing power from a dashboard cigarette lighter.
Temporary police decals are going to be added. There is no onboard radio.
The vehicle will give the police department more flexibility, especially in crowds, or at accident scenes.
“We’ll use it at events where it might be difficult to get a squad car. It was used during Relay for Life to get to the track at the YMCA, and during the Fourth of July festivities,” Krocka said.
Police Chief Bill Meloy said the ATV will be a useful tool.
“It will give officers access to areas and around crowds. If the fire department needs it to get to a fire scene, we will certainly make it available to them, too,” Meloy said.
Krocka has been a four-wheeling fanatic even before the police department acquired its new vehicle, and knows ATVs are not toys.
“We made sure everyone who was going to drive the ATV watched a 45-minute safety video, because they handle differently than a car,” he said.
“With the wide, knobby tires and the low-riding frame, it is possible to roll the vehicle if you don’t know what you are doing.”
The wide-open nature of the ATV makes its operators highly visible to the public, forcing the police department to stringently enforce one other requirement.
“Anyone riding in the ATV has to wear a seat belt. If they fail to do so, their riding privileges will be revoked,” Krocka said.