CHANNAHON — Thanks to a recent donation, the Channahon Police Department is now better equipped to respond to incidents off the beaten path.
At the Channahon village meeting Monday, Bill McAdam, president and CEO of Aux Sable Liquid Products, donated a 2012 Polaris Ranger to the department on the company’s behalf.
The Ranger is equipped with emergency lights, police radio, and all-weather equipment for use throughout the year.
In a prepared statement, McAdam said his company is supportive of the work of the department.
“Aux Sable believes strongly in investing the communities in which we live and work, and supports and recognizes the commitment of the men and women of the Channahon Police Department,” he said.
“Our focus on safety, education, health, and the environment provides the basis for our commitment to the communities in which we operate and our employees.”
A number of department personnel were on hand for the donation and were also able to take it out for a test spin before the meeting. During the meeting, Village President Joe Cook presented McAdam with a certificate of appreciation for the donation.
On Wednesday, Chief Jeff Wold said the Ranger will play a big role in the department’s day-to-day operations.
“It’s a huge help, from routine patrols up and down the I & M Canal trail to searching for kids lost in the woods or transporting equipment to crime scenes off the roads where you can’t take vehicles,” he said.
Wold said the donation stemmed from a connection with the Channahon company, when a bomb threat was reported as the plant was being built about 13 years ago. Channahon police responded to the call, and their handling of the incident reportedly impressed the company’s leaders.
They stayed in touch over the years, with Wold attending the plant’s 10-year anniversary in recent years.
“We’d always talked about some type of utility vehicle we could use at Warrior Dash or festivals or to get into the woods or rough areas you can’t take a squad car,” he said.
After looking into the expense in January, and realizing the purchase of the vehicle plus a trailer to haul it in would be too large of an expense, at about $15,000, they approached Aux Sable to see if they might help out.
“I was really hoping they’d put a donation towards it, like about $1,000,” Wold said.
He was surprised when the company offered to cover the full price by donating a vehicle, but the department was excited to hear the news.
“Our department really appreciates it,” he said. “There’s been several situations that come to mind in the last year that (it could have been used in) — I’m sure we’ll get great use of it in the winter. It is ready to go.”