LPD Humvee gets its stripes

Friday, February 10, 2012
Photo courtesy of LPD This military surplus vehicle was obtained by Lewisburg Police at no cost other than labor and pickup transportation expenses. It was repainted and striped for less than $2,000.

From staff reports

On Tuesday night, Lewisburg Police Chief Chuck Forbis intends to show city councilmen the department's recently promoted vehicle.

The Humvee got its stripes this winter after about a month of sanding at the National Guard base in Smyrna where the basic black and blue paint job was applied.

"We paid for the paint," Forbis said. "They did all the labor, which was extensive."

Lewisburg's City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

"Although it will be dark, they do have street lights in the parking lot," Forbis said.

It was last summer when the Police Department took possession of the Humvee from a military installation that's technically named Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Subsequently, a military surplus hard top was obtained for the vehicle. The top was specifically designed for such Humvees. It and a few others like it cost the military $30,000 each. The vehicle was valued at $40,000.

The Humvee had a chemical agent resistant coating. So-called CARC paint resists corrosion and the penetration of chemical agents. CARC resists removal by decontaminating solutions and it's required on U.S. combat-related equipment.

The National Guard in Smyrna - "Some of whom are our guys, residents of Marshall County" - removed several coats of CARC paint and sanded it down to the point to where they could prime it and then paint it, Forbis said.

The Humvee is black. The National Guard painted the grille pieces royal blue. The paint cost approximately $400.

"It took quite a while," he said. "They had it about a month."

Then the stripes were designed by police officers who are named on the back of the Humvee: Capt. Rebekah Mitchell, Detective Sgt. David Henley, Detectives James Johnson and Santiago McKlean, Officer Kevin Clark, Sgt. Kevin Patin, Darlene Robertson and Terri Bailey.

The decals cost "right at $1,200," and were applied by Auto Trim Design of Columbia, Forbis said.

So making the vehicle ready for city use cost less than $2,000, the chief reported, adding, "That's not bad for what is now, a $60,000 to $70,000 vehicle."

The vehicle hasn't been to a crime

scene yet: "No, we'd just got it back from the detail shop..."

That was several weeks ago.

While the public display of the Humvee will be Tuesday night, "It will be at all our Cops for Kids events and any other events that are appropriate" such as the Christmas and Fourth of July parades and, "if there's a place for it," at Goats Music & More.

Now, as for whether city councilmen, or the mayor, might drive the Humvee, Forbis effectively said yes by way of commenting, "If they know how to drive it; some may be military veterans, or they may be willing to take our course."

This particular Humvee was never in combat, but it's like those used in Iraq, so as Forbis puts it, "Obviously, we have some vets who know how to drive it," but he wants all department officers trained in how to drive the Humvee.