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City to replace wrecked police vehicle

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In a short Glenwood City Council meeting Monday night, aldermen approved two motions.

The first motion, which passed unanimously, was to sell the recently wrecked Glenwood Police Department 2014 Ford Explorer for salvage.

The accident, which occurred on Friday, April 6 at 7:18 p.m. according to the State Police report, occurred in front of the Glenwood Dollar General on Highway 70.

The two vehicle accident, which included Brandon Ryan Neighbors of New Hope and Chance Reid and Andrew Thompson of the Glenwood Police Department, occurred when Neighbors slowed to turn left into Dollar General and was rear ended by the police vehicle.

According to the report, the contributing factor to the accident was due to Thompson failing to yield to the vehicle in front of him.

The police vehicle, which was declared totaled, will be sold as scrap for $1,600 after the available electronics are taken off the car — such as radio, lights, cameras, etc. That value will be added into the insurance settlement total.The second motion, to replace the vehicle with a 2015 version at the same original value of the 2014 edition — $25,480.00.

The cost of the vehicle will be largely covered by insurance, save the $1,000 deductible and the cost of installing electronics on the new vehicle.

The previously city owned Trailblazer that was recently sold at auction for $2,000 will also go to offset any additional costs.

A USDA grant was used to purchase the 2014 vehicle.

The second motion passed with a 3-1 vote, with Alderman Dickie Johnson voting against the measure. Due to Chuck Voan’s absence at the meeting, Glenwood Mayor Ron Martin weighed in affirmatively in order to achieve a definitive vote.

Johnson, in his declination of the vote, showed his ire at the meeting.

“We’ve wrecked two brand new vehicles in the city limits of Glenwood … while you’re trying to pursue something … that’s unacceptable. Period. No argument,” he said.

Glenwood Police Chief Randy Reid reminded Johnson that in the first wreck he referred to, the car was two years old.

“Can you tell me why they’re wrecking vehicles? Our numbers are worse than they are in Little Rock, per capita.”

Reid responded with a simple “I don’t agree with that.”

Martin said that he agreed the wrecking of vehicles was a major problem.

“There’s no reason for it,” said Johnson

“Well, I’ve been in a wreck and I didn’t think there was any reason for it either, but …” said Martin in a reasonable tone.

“We’ve got trained police officers wrecking cars in the city limits of Glenwood,” retorted Johnson.

“And how many other people that live in Glenwood wreck their cars too?” countered Martin.

“But these are trained police officers,” Johnson stated firmly. “I think we should drive what we can afford — every time they wreck a vehicle, we give them a new vehicle. That’s my opinion.”

According to Martin. the officers on staff at the GPD have not had driving training, but that it is now required.

Reid said that officers that graduate from the police academy receive driving instruction, and that “as soon as everyone gets healthy” the staff will receive training with a simulator in a two-three hour course. He also indicated that other local officers may be interested in a co-op venture, perhaps from Montgomery County, and that he would ask if the training could be held locally, but that he doubted such.