ETSU said goodbye to the old Crown Vic and Ford Explorers that patrolled campus for years and said hello to the new 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 Special Service vehicles.
The new patrol trucks were ordered last November and arrived on campus this fall and began to pick up attention quickly.
The change in vehicles was made to ensure durability for public safety around campus.
“This university…the environment here is extremely hard on a patrol vehicle,” ETSU Chief Jack Cotrel said. “Our vehicles run 24/7, 365 and you’ve driven around this campus…Speed bumps, speed bumps, speed bumps. It absolutely kills the suspension systems.”
The previous patrol vehicles began to wear down and require a lot of money to remain efficient.
“My whole objective was to find a vehicle that would stand up to the wear and tear of the campus environment,” Cotrel said. “I certainly hope that these trucks will be the answers to our problems.”
Many have questioned if the students on campus contributed to funding the arrival of the trucks, but that answer is no.
“The university has what’s called an R&R budget, replacement and replenish, and when equipment wears out that budget is there to replace what’s worn out,” Cotrel said. It was essentially Dr. (David) Collins, Dr. (Brian) Noland and myself who did the research on the vehicles and decided it was a good investment.”
ETSU is one of few around the area with the vehicles and have received a lot of compliments so far.