Just two weeks into his job as Crescent City’s new chief of police, Richard Griffin was able to secure a Homeland Security grant to acquire a new, non-traditional patrol vehicle.
Working with Kymmie Scott, Del Norte County’s emergency management supervisor, Griffin learned that California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services funds were still available - but that Griffin had only a couple of days to submit his wish list.
“I looked at what the police department could use a lot, and maybe the fire department,” Griffin told the Crescent City Council on Monday. “I applied for an ATV side-by-side four-seater.
“I was looking for something we could use for the Fourth of July Parade, “SeaCruise,” any big, major events we can’t get our patrol vehicles in there very well and patrol,” Griffin said.
“Also, in an unfortunate event like the tsunami, this would allow us to transverse over anything that is down, be able to get to people and help them out,” he said.
Researching the market, Griffin said patrol ATVs could run as high as $30,000. He found one that fit within the grant’s funding at $12,067.
“I’m not looking for anything extravagant, just something to help deploy my officers where I can, that patrols down at Beachfront Park or at Shoreline, which we have been doing. Also, would be able to hit that beach more, too,” he said.
City Manager Eric Wier said the Crescent City Fire Department also was enthusiastic about the acquisition of equipment “that they would be able to respond to beach fires or injuries down on the beach that they can’t get to easily. This would be nice equipment for the city to have in its arsenal as well.”
Wier said that after talking with the two departments’ chiefs, once acquired, the ATV would be stored at the Washington Street Station for now. “It has nice access to multiple bay doors, stored in an area to get it out quickly.
“And it’s outside any tsunami runup zone. So, it would be easy to get to in an emergency,” Wier said.
On the other hand, Mayor pro-tem Heidi Kime expressed concern regarding the storage location. “But if you’re responding to beach bonfires, how long is it going to take to get that thing down to the beach?” Kime asked.
Griffin mentioned a long-term plan to store the ATV in the police department’s back lot.
“I want to work with Public Works to build a lean-to on the back side, or a metal carport. You can get those pretty cheap, for a couple hundred dollars, where wind and rain is not hitting it.
“Storage would initially be at a fire station, but we want it at the police department, where guys could get it early morning and patrol,” Griffin said.
The City Council unanimously approved a change to the general-fund budget to reflect accepting the Homeland Security grant and expenditure for the ATV.