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Ti police get new vehicles with DWI, drug funds

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Police Department has a new vehicle thanks to the Essex County Stop DWI Program.

Ti PD recently received a 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe through the Essex County Stop DWI Program. That program will provide $10,000 a year for three years to pay for that vehicle.

The Ticonderoga Police Department has also purchased a new detective's vehicle for the fleet, replacing a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria with 160,000 miles.

This unmarked police vehicle was purchased using funds from drug forfeitures. Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague provided funds through that office's drug forfeiture account, while the remaining funds came from the town's own forfeiture account.

"The Ticonderoga Police Department is very grateful to both the Essex County Stop DWI Program and the Essex County District Attorney's Office for financial assistance in obtaining these new vehicles," Mark Johns, Ticonderoga police chief, said. "Using funds from drinking and driving violators and drug offenders toward enforcement tools such as these is a great relief for our local taxpayers. The taxpayers will also benefit from replacing the older vehicles in the fleet which were becoming costly to maintain."

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a police-rated, four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle which replaces a 2005 Jeep Cherokee in the Ticonderoga fleet. It is the only four-wheel drive vehicle in that fleet.

The Jeep Cherokee was traded in toward this purchase to fund emergency lights, a prisoner cage, and other police equipment on the new vehicle.

Essex County Stop DWI receives funding from fines obtained from drinking and driving convictions. In 2009 the Ticonderoga Police Department charged 28 people with DWI, and year to date in 2010, 29 people have been charged with DWI.

"Our goal is to coordinate a comprehensive DWI counter-measure program to deter the incidence of drunk driving and the occurrence of alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities," said Michael Mascarenas, Stop DWI county director.

"The town of Ticonderoga Police Department continues to be leaders in DWI enforcement," he added. "It is our priority to give the local police departments the support they need to deter drinking and driving in their towns."

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