The Department of Public Safety unveiled 30 new police vehicles yesterday that were obtained through a combination of funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Four of the vehicles will be given to Tinian and Rota.
In a turnover ceremony yesterday at DPS headquarters in Susupe, DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero said the new vehicles will beef us police presence in the CNMI community, in the belief that more police vehicles on the streets would mean people would be more hesitant to commit crimes.
“The more officers you have on the streets, the more you deter crime and that’s one of the reasons our crime rate has gone down for both drugs and general crime. The more officers and the more police vehicles we put out on the streets and the villages, it deters a lot of the crime,” he said.
Guerrero said the vehicles, which cost over $800,000, was partially paid through an NHTA grant and from reimbursements provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the use of DPS equipment after Super Typhoon Yutu back in 2018. The department got over $1 million from FEMA.
The new vehicles include several 2019 Dodge police 1500 trucks, two 2020 Chevy Tahoes, and over 19 Dodge Police Chargers. The department is expecting about 15 more vehicles.
Guerrero said what makes these new vehicles special is that they came from dealerships in the U.S mainland that actually provide police vehicle packages; local dealerships do not.
“The vehicles we bought before were bought locally. Unfortunately, local dealers don’t carry police package vehicles. These packaged vehicles have upgraded alternators to accommodate a charging system for all the police lights and speaker system, [while] the suspension [and] batteries are all upgraded,” he said.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who was present to officially turn over the keys to the department, said the new vehicles are a testament to the hard work put in by DPS officers everyday, especially during disasters.
“I want to congratulate the commissioner, the administrative staff, and all our police officers for always protecting our community, and their families for allowing them to serve,” he said.
Torres said the new vehicles will not only benefit the department but the community as a whole.
“They are reliable. Throughout the years all vehicles have to be replaced. It’s a good thing for all our officers to have new patrol vehicles because they’re reliable,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said the department’ new resources and new equipment speaks well of the administrative arm of DPS.
“These are resources that the commissioner worked hard to come to fruition. At the end of the day, we needed to get the equipment for DPS to continue to function appropriately,” he said.