Note: Richland County’s Public Information Office is starting a new occasional series, “One of The Best Things in Richland County This Week,” to highlight County department-related human interest stories that make a difference in our community.
Car donations have become a popular method of giving to charities and Richland County took the practice to a different level Jan. 9 when it gave a vehicle to a local university in need.
Richland County turned over the keys to the donated car, a decommissioned Sheriff’s department vehicle, to Allen University’s police department Thursday. The 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor couldn’t have come at a better time, said Allen University’s Police Chief Kelvin Davis.
The seven-officer department had just one vehicle, which was not outfitted for police pursuits – something that was needed at the small school located on an often busy Harden Street.
“(This) will be a primary vehicle to patrol the campus,” Davis said. “To ensure that we can continue to do our job.”
The vehicle also will be used to respond to calls, conduct emergency response and transport detainees to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, Davis said. He picked up the car Thursday from the County’s Fleet Services Department, which gave the vehicle a fresh paint job and maintenance check before the keys and title were given to Allen University.
“It’s in really good shape,” said Richland County’s Fleet Manager Bill Peters of the vehicle valued at $3,500 and that has not had any major repairs during its 108,000-mile history. “It will be a pretty reliable unit for the chief to use.”
Vehicles decommissioned by Richland County usually are sold at public auction, but Richland County Council approved the donation at its Dec. 3 meeting after learning the university’s police department was in need. The last time Richland County donated a vehicle was in December 2012, when a 2005 Ford Explorer was sent to the Hampton County Coroner’s office, said John Hixon, Richland County’s Director of Support Services.
Paige Moore, Allen University’s vice president of Human Resources, Administration and Community Outreach, expressed gratitude for Richland County’s gift to the school.
“We’re very appreciative of the donation,” she said. “It will help us to extend our outreach throughout Allen University and the Waverly community.”