Montville Township Police Department will use a donated and restored Humvee to spread anti-drug message and expand public relations throughout the community
When DARE Officer David Pinkas learned his department was receiving a Humvee through a military surplus program at no cost to the department, he was thrilled. But Pinkas and the MTPD faced additional challenges trying to restore the military Humvee, which has a value ranging from $130,000 to $170,000, for use in the community. “The Montville Maintenance Department was able to get the vehicle running smoothly, but we had to find a community partner to remove the camouflage paint and restore the exterior,” advised Pinkas. Based on a suggestion from a fellow Patrol Officer, he decided to ask Rick Stickland, owner of South of the Square Collision Centers in Medina and North Ridgeville for help. “They had a history of helping with community projects,” said Pinkas.
“The vehicle needed a lot of work,” advised Stickland, who completed most of the labor himself. “To even begin the restoration process, we had to de-trim the truck, removing all the lights and door handles – then we tried to sand blast the vehicle to try to remove the old paint, and unfortunately that didn’t go very well, so we ended up stripping and sanding the vehicle by hand.” The repairs also included repairing cracks in the hood and bumpers, and replacing all the windshields. “The old ones were pretty beat up,” advised Stickland. South of the Square’s Automotive Paint vendor PPG also stepped up to donate products for the project. “The Matte Silver and semi-gloss black accents really made this project come together,” Stickland said. The restoration project was completed at no cost to the residents of Montville Township or the Police Department.
“I was blown away by the final product, and the rest of the department was speechless,” advised Pinkas, who regularly stopped by the Medina location of South of the Square Collision to watch the restoration process. “Rick had recommended that we use the Matte Silver because it would make the color really pop – and it did.” The vehicle has already been used during Safety Town this summer, and was featured in the July 4th parade. “The kids love it,” boasted Pinkas, “they climb all over it and enjoy going inside the vehicle.” The restored DARE Humvee will also be making the rounds at area schools when classes begin in a few weeks.