Kearney Police Department receives anonymous donation to purchase new vehicles

KPD received an anonymous donation to purchase the new vehicles.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 7:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 7:31 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Kearney Police Department received an anonymous donation which allows the launch of the ‘ Take Home Vehicle’ program.

KPD was donated $3 million to purchase a whole new fleet of police cars leading to the department planning on bringing in 33 new vehicles that will come within the next few years.

The goal with the new program is to help with deter crime and retention.

“We spend on average about $250,000 a year on replacing vehicles,” Lt. Derek Luke said. “We try to replace four to five vehicles per year, as they age out and mile out, and they get used up very quickly. This will allow the cars to last longer.”

Lt. Luke says in the long run it will benefit the city, taxpayers and the department’s budget.

However one of the main focus points of this new program is bringing new people into the agency.

“Officers want good equipment,” Lt. Luke said. “They want to be well trained, they want to well educated and they want to have good equipment, as well as good working conditions. So this, the police car is the officers office. Their job comes out of their police car.”

According to Lt. Luke, having personal assigned cars is more appealing to incoming and current police officers. This will also effect response times.

“So the on duty officers would have their response time because they’re in the community already,” Lt. Luke said. “If we have a SWAT call or if we have a big event that we need additional officers, it would save, it can save up to 45 to 60 minutes of response time.”

It would allow officers to get ready from home and go directly to the scene according to Lt. Luke.

As mentioned earlier, this would also help in deterring crime in the area.

“Generally speaking, if you see a police car you’re less likely to commit a crime,” Lt. Luke said. " As we’re driving around, we may be going a little fast and you see a police car and you immediately look down at your speedometer or tap the breaks or just slow down a bit.”

Lt. Luke says taking the cars home won’t be mandatory and will be limited to work use only.