Norway selectmen approve police cruiser replacement

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NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen unanimously gave the go-ahead Thursday night to police Chief Rob Federico to replace a cruiser destroyed in an accident last month.

The board approved the purchase of a 2014 Ford Interceptor utility vehicle from Ripley and Fletcher Co. of South Paris for $27,638.

It will replace a 2014 Dodge Charger destroyed Jan. 27 when officer James Ventresca was pursuing a speeding car and lost control of the cruiser on a slick patch of Route 117 near Crockett Ridge Road. The cruiser landed on its roof and Ventresca was injured.

Federico said the officer is back at work and probably was saved by the cruiser’s interior cage. The insurance company declared the cruiser a total loss.

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Although the chief investigated replacing it with a similar 2014 Dodge Charger, he told selectmen it would take at least eight weeks to get one and longer to outfit it.

The Dodge Charger was purchased in October. The insurance company will negotiate a settlement on the equipment in it once the damage is accessed.

Federico said he expects the department may see almost a complete return of its investment, minus some depreciation for the limited miles the car was used.

With the purchase of the Ford Interceptor, which has all-wheel drive, there would be no downtime, Federico said.

The department has a Ford Explorer that could have been used for routine patrol while waiting for a new Dodge Charger, but Federico said it should be replaced as soon as possible. By buying a new vehicle immediately, the Explorer’s life could be extended by as much a year, he said.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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