2018-01-10 / Front Page

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

School resource officer gets flashy patrol car
BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Undersheriff Jeremy Howe, Bonnie Wilcox, Lt. Andy Engster, Dep. Jimmy White and Sheriff Scott McKenna show off the new School Resource Officer patrol car. Wilcox designed and installed the lightning motif to make the car stand out. 
Photo by Phil Foley Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Undersheriff Jeremy Howe, Bonnie Wilcox, Lt. Andy Engster, Dep. Jimmy White and Sheriff Scott McKenna show off the new School Resource Officer patrol car. Wilcox designed and installed the lightning motif to make the car stand out. Photo by Phil Foley LAPEER — “They told me to have fun with it,” said Bonnie Wilcox, owner of Express Auto Graphics.

“It turned out awesome,” said Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna.

After Mayfield Township and the Lapeer Community School district (LCS) agreed last summer to share cost of a school resource officer for the four LCS schools in the district, McKenna decided he wanted something a little different for the patrol car driven by the school resource officer.

“We wanted to create a buzz,” McKenna said. It started with Dep. Jimmy White, who was appointed the School Resource officer for Zemmer Middle School and Schickler, Mayfield and Lynch elementary schools, suggesting they put a Lapeer Lightning sticker on the new Dodge Charger.

“When we first talked to Bonnie, we told her we were looking for something outside the box,” McKenna said. The Lapeer Lightning sticker morphed into Wilcox designing a lightning graphic that covers most of the sides of the patrol car.

Wilcox, who opened Express Auto Graphics about a year ago, said it took about a week to design and execute the graphic.

McKenna said he hasn’t gotten a final bill yet, but he expects it to cost somewhere between $200 and $300. He said that will come out of the department’s budget for putting graphics on new patrol car.

“The kids are going to love this,” McKenna said, adding the point to the design was to make the patrol car more approachable. “My son,” said the sheriff, “is 15 and when he saw it, he fell in love with it.”

McKenna praised Mayfield Township officials saying “they really stepped up” when they voted in July to pick up three-quarters of the cost of a fifth contract deputy for the township, even though that deputy will spend nearly all his time at the four schools located in the township.

LCS will cover the remaining 25 percent of the cost, McKenna said.

White, who’s been with the department a decade and runs its Safetyville program along with serving as the department’s Child Advocacy Center liaison, has been driving a spare patrol car since he began as School Resource Officer in August.

McKenna said he’s hoping the new patrol car will generate some excitement in the community and beyond. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes some of the police magazines,” McKenna said.

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