04/06/05 — Princeton police chief seeks more patrol cars, officers

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Princeton police chief seeks more patrol cars, officers

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 6, 2005 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton Police Department is down to one patrol car, but Chief Eddie Lewis says he hopes to have two more soon for his four-man force.

Lewis told the town board on Monday night that one car was being repaired and should be back in service this week. The board authorized Lewis to buy a five-year-old Ford Crown Victoria for up to $11,800 from the Jacksonville Police Department.

Finding money to keep aging patrol cars operating or buying used cars from other agencies has been a long-running problem for the town.

The chief also has instituted a no-idling policy for his department, because the price of "gas is killing us."

Lewis also discussed with the board the possibility off adding a fifth officer with money from an $87,200 grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program. The government would pay the entire salary for the first year but the percentage would decrease in succeeding years. The town would be obligated to pay about $11,500.

The chief said if Princeton grows, the town might need a fifth officer. He said another officer might reduce the use of part-time officers.

Lewis also said the town's cleanup campaign "went exceptionally well." Most landowners were cleaning their property, he said. But as many as seven people will be cited for failing to remove junk vehicles and other trash.