The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office got a gift from Montaplast that “literally has it all.”
The Germany-based company donated a new Ford Explorer equipped with some of the most advanced technology available to law enforcement vehicles, and John Phillips, of Montaplast, says it is one less item coming from the taxpayers’ wallets.
“To my knowledge, it’s the best-equipped cruiser in the state,” Phillips said.
The vehicle has everything from a digital radio, to a printer and scanner – which will save deputies time with reports – to a radar that will clock four vehicles at one time, Sheriff Pat Melton says.
“It’s not too often a company comes up and says they want to do this for you, and I think it shows tremendous support for the sheriff’s office, Franklin County government and our community,” Melton said.
“(The latest equipment) is going to help us keep deputies on the roads and out of the office.”
The SUV also has a state-of-the-art digital video camera mounted on the rear view mirror that will film in front of the vehicle – and the back seat where prisoners usually sit.
It also has a set of LED lights that run at an angle on the top of the vehicle for better visibility at intersections. Paul Miller Uplifters, of Lexington, completed the cruiser’s equipment installation and applied the graphics on its side.
“(Melton) was doing such a great job for the community and we thought ‘what could we do to help the sheriff’s department,’ because they’ve come in and done such a great job,” Phillips said.
“Usually (our projects are) some sort of capital equipment purchases, something that is sustainable.”
Christian Stulz, president of Montaplast, said the company completes several service projects each year, and he feels obligated to give back to the community after being in the area for years.
“We live here and stay here and we’ve always been safe, so it’s one of those things you can do for good that really helps everybody,” Stulz said Tuesday morning in front of the facility.
“As long as it keeps the (deputy) safe and helps improve things it will be good.”
Melton says his office has budgeted for three vehicles this year, however the donated cruiser will help offset one of them.
“This will help us maintain our fleet tremendously,” he said. Deputy David Rutledge will drive the new cruiser.
As service projects last year Montaplast donated children’s chemotherapy treatment chairs to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and worked with local schools on the “Don’t text and drive campaign.”