The Shafter Police Department is supporting the newly established Wasco Police Department by selling three vehicles at a discounted rate of $600.
"We know that Wasco is an up-and-coming agency, and we want to support as much as possible. So that is when I contacted Chief Fivecoat and asked if he would be interested in obtaining the three vehicles we were going to be taking out of our inventory," Acting Shafter Police Chief Randy Milligan said this week.
"These vehicles are very hard to obtain and have a long waiting period. You have to order them, and you might have to wait up to a year before they are available. We wanted to make sure Wasco had something to use before they got their vehicles."
When asked how he felt about the collaboration among the two agencies, he said, "It speaks for itself. We have to work together because we are battling the same problems."
MV Autoworks Collision Center stepped in to refurbish the vehicles free of charge.
"I was born and raised here, and we should always have the heart to help, especially the community that has helped your business evolve and grow," Owner Jesus V. Luna said.
The work he and his team of technicians performed on the vehicles to get them in top-notch condition and detailed to meet the specific needs of the Wasco Police Department was extensive.
"We pretty much did the whole car. We sandblasted some areas that needed to be sandblasted and put fresh paint on the entire car body; we took care of all the flaws and restored it to the original condition."
"It took about a month and a half. They were projects. When it's a collision repair, vehicles move in and out of the shop faster, but these vehicles were projects due to the extent of the labor and repair needed."
Pablo Vazquez, a manager at MV Autoworks Collision Center, was enthusiastic about MV's participation. "It felt good doing my part in the development of our new police department. It was a lot of work, but the result was worth it. The cars came out excellent."
Lieutenant Alecio Mora added, "Since the beginning, Jesus has been very supportive and, in our case, could take action and restore a unit for the Wasco PD at no cost, and he is committed to the future of giving back to the community and making Wasco a safer place to live."
The collaboration didn't stop there. Napa Auto Parts generously donated the parts for the refurbishment. Manager Kristian Perez said, "I feel it's necessary to support the local law enforcement. It's important to give to the community when needed."
Adding another layer to this noteworthy community imitative, the city's Public Works Department volunteered its expertise to conduct maintenance work on the vehicles, reducing the burden on the new Police Department's budget.
Luis Villa said, "As the director of Public Works, one of the main things I wanted to bring was unity. My vision was to have every department work together and help each other. The Police Department is an addition to our family here in the city; we are excited to see them grow and succeed."
Chief Charlie Fivecoat said the refurbished vehicles brings their fleet size to 16.
"It's just a wonderful example of when the community comes together to improve public safety, and I'm so overwhelmed at how supportive the community has been for us," he said. "I value that people understand the importance of what we are trying to do and are willing to partner with us to help improve the quality of life for the community."