Hamlet Council Considers Vehicle Options for Police Department

The Hamlet Town Council may soon be reevaluating the police department’s vehicle needs, amid ongoing problems with its Ford Taurus.

Town Marshal Clint Norem told council members last week that two vehicles had to have their sway bars replaced, just over a month after they got new motors. “So when we took the Taurus in, they changed the sway bars, but while they had it there, they made the determination that at some point in time, the right rear rim and axle have been bent,” Norem said. “Therefore, the bearing’s going out on that and then the bushings for the struts are going out.” But Norem said officers hadn’t experienced the vibrations at high speeds that would be expected with such issues.

He asked council members if they thought it was worth putting more money into the car, at this point. Council member Brian Earnest thought it might be better to sell it, noting that Hamlet currently has three police cars but only two full-time officers. “I’m just thinking if you sell it, that’s a lot of money that can go towards equipment or other things that you may need,” Earnest said.

Norem said he’d rather keep the car to use as a spare when the other vehicles are being serviced. “I mean, it’s always nice to have that extra car,” he said. “The reserves can use it. We do have some more interest in the reserves, so he may add more reserves, and if we’ve got two cars, we’re going to be transporting vehicles back and forth to try to get reserves into a car, as well.”

In the end, Council President Dave Kesvormas recommended that Norem make the minimum repairs to keep the car usable and maybe get a second opinion on the rest of the upgrades. But he didn’t want to decide whether to sell the car, until after this summer’s Starke County Fair.