There is a new vehicle in the Great Bend Police Department fleet – a 2022 Polaris Ranger all-terrain vehicle. The purchase was made possible with a donation from Great Bend resident Sheryl Cheely.
The black-and-white four-door, four-wheel drive ATV has an enclosed cab, flashing blue and red lights, a siren and a cargo bed. It is adorned with GBPD and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program emblems.
“This was made possible due to Mrs. Cheely’s generosity,” Police Chief Steve Haulmark said. “We know the community supports us, but when a citizen steps up like this, it’s huge.”
The primary use for the ATV will be community interaction, especially with children, the chief said. It will cruise around at city events like June Jaunt and Party in the Park as a mobile ambassador.
However, there is a more serious function as well. It can maneuver where regular police cars can’t, and it could be pressed into service for search-and-rescue operations in remote, hard-to-access areas, Haulmark said.
In all, the Polaris cost about $30,000. It was purchased from Straub’s Powersports in Great Bend and Mark’s Custom Signs of Great Bend did the vinyl wrap and logos.
The Great Bend Fire Department bought a similar vehicle and the original plan was to use it jointly with the police, Haulmark said. However, the Fire Department wound up needing it more than anticipated.
So, when the subject came up during a conversation with Cheely, Haulmark said this was something his department could use.
“I wanted to do this so they could enjoy it and the kids could enjoy it,” Cheely said. “I think it will be a nice addition.”
The vehicle is street legal, Capt. Scott Bieberle said. It has side mirrors, a windshield wiper, turn signals and a licence plate light.
For now, it will be stored at the GBPD’s downtown location. It joins the department’s police cars, bicycles and mobile command center/ambulance vehicle.