Canton Police get new SUV patrol cars
by Joshua Sharpe
jsharpe@cherokeetribune.com
April 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 2151 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Lt. Michael Hales, who headed the project of purchasing and outfitting the service vehicles, left, and Police Chief Robert Merchant. Merchant praised Hales Monday for being ‘fiscally responsible’ in the project. <br>Staff/Joshua Sharpe
Lt. Michael Hales, who headed the project of purchasing and outfitting the service vehicles, left, and Police Chief Robert Merchant. Merchant praised Hales Monday for being ‘fiscally responsible’ in the project.
Staff/Joshua Sharpe
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CANTON — The Canton Police Department saw the delivery of six brand new SUVs Monday afternoon, marking a departure from the traditional police cars residents are used to seeing around town.

Canton Police Lt. Michael Hales, who led the new vehicle project, said Monday the six 2013 Chevrolet Tahoes cost the city of Canton around $210,000 and have been purchased to replace six Crown Victoria sedans, which have each logged 120,000 miles, the department’s milestone signaling the end of a vehicle’s life for service.

Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant praised Hales, the department’s head of the uniformed patrol division, for his oversight of the project.

“For the monies we had budgeted,” Merchant said. “I think he was extremely fiscally responsible.”

Four of the SUVs will be used for uniformed officers on patrol, with the other two being outfitted for a K-9 unit and a community outreach officer, respectively, Hales said.

All of the Tahoes, which were outfitted at the city of Canton garage by a Savannah company, feature more flashing lights than past vehicles used by Canton police.

Hales said the added lights are for better protection of officers, a measure seen as necessary after a Canton Police officer was struck by a passing car earlier in the year.

The officer was looking through the trunk of her patrol car on a roadside when she was hit, Hales said. Had the patrol car been equipped with internal trunk lights like the ones on these Tahoes, Hales said, the incident might not have occurred.

“Lights are what save ours lives,” he said.

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