Jack Walsh, vice president and general manager of Williams’ Susquehanna River Supply Hub (above, left) stopped by the Tunkhannock Borough Police station recently to see the new Ford Explorer that Williams helped to purchase for the department, represented by (continuing from left) police chief Keith Carpenter, sergeant Dustin Cokely and borough mayor Stacy Huber.
Municipalities routinely change out vehicles as they approach the end of their useful lives, including those of their police forces. The Tunkhannock Borough Police Department provides service to more than 2,000 residents and 62 businesses, as well as three school campuses, several day-care centers and monitors traffic traversing the Wyoming County seat. The Department hadn’t had a new police car since 2007.
Through the borough, the department maintains a capitol reserve account as part of its primary budget, specifically for purchases of vehicles and other apparatus. When they looked into getting a new vehicle, they found themselves coming up short. “In this case, in light of increasing costs, additional funding was needed,” Tunkhannock mayor Stacy Huber related.
Police chief Keith Carpenter reached out to Williams to see if he might get some assistance through their Community Grants & Sponsorships program. In addition to providing an arm of outreach for Williams’ employees who are engaged in their communities, Williams has furnished grants for organizations within their operating areas and fulfilled other requests for funds that “provide a public benefit.”
In his application, Carpenter wrote, “The Williams grant would assist the community with a large portion of the project total. This would lessen the burden on tax payers by lessening the amount of a loan needed for the remaining balance.”
Williams provided $10,000 toward helping the department purchase a new 2021 Ford Explorer, which will help the department proactively patrol their jurisdiction and help other departments as needed. In addition to the increased reliability that a new vehicle offers, the Explorer provides more space for patrolling officers. The smaller 2012 and 2014 Chevy Impalas in the fleet were both purchased used. “Upfitting” the new cruiser included the installation of a new computer system that is integrated with the Wyoming County Communications Center and 911. There’s more room for the officers, apparatus, and any passengers they might have. With cuts in manpower and a greater reliance on the “tools of the trade,” as Carpenter called them, the patrolling officers are now better equipped for a variety of scenarios.
After Carpenter secured the grant with the borough and the department was ready to place an order, Sergeant Dustin Cokely started working with vendors through the State COSTARS Purchasing Program, which further reduces costs for municipalities. Cokely’s part of the team effort also included coordinating the upfitting, which included a new 360-degree camera that will record everything the officers do inside or outside the vehicle. The Impalas only have front-facing cameras.
“Our borough and police department greatly appreciate Williams’ corporate responsibility, generosity, and community involvement,” Mayor Huber stated. “With this grant, they have directly supported and enhanced the current and future capabilities of our department.”
“Williams is proud to be an active member of the local Tunkhannock community for over a decade now,” said Jack Walsh, vice president and general manager of Williams’ Susquehanna River Supply Hub, which is located just north of town on Route 29. “We are excited to partner with the Tunkhannock Borough Police Department and all first responder organizations throughout northeast Pennsylvania to help them continue their important work of protecting our communities.”