The City of Titusville, Florida / Police / NewsAntique car to help represent Community pride in our Department’s HistoryWednesday, March 09, 2011
Community pride in the Titusville Police Department is one of their most valuable tools in crime prevention. And as part of their diversified approach to utilizing forfeiture funds, TPD will soon have the ultimate symbol of the department’s long history –a replica of the City's very first police car.
The police department will use fourteen thousand dollars from the forfeiture account to purchase a 1949 Ford and outfit it exactly the way it was when it was put into service over 50 years ago.
The idea for the antique police car surfaced among staff while gathering history on the Titusville Police Department for a publication on the department’s website. They discovered that despite the police department officially forming in 1923, the City first purchased a police car in 1949. Prior to that patrol car purchase, officers had to use their own vehicle for police work.
The antique police car will serve as a symbol of the department’s proud history and will be used throughout the year at numerous community outreach events including the annual National Night Out, Family Fun Days, and Civic Group fundraisers.
Captain William Bohannon proudly stands next to a Titusville's Police car in circa 1951
“Our crime rate is down and tips from citizens have increased dramatically in the past two years”, said Titusville Police Chief Tony Bollinger. “We are convinced that our increasing commitment to community outreach programs is a big part of that success”.
The department created a full time Public Affairs Section two years ago to ensure effective communication between the community and the department. “There is clearly a link between our improved communication with citizens, and our recent success at crime prevention”, said Lieutenant Todd Hutchinson, who oversees community outreach programs. “Ever since the department began attending civic group meetings like the Kiwanis and Rotary, hosting homeowner association meetings at the police department, and giving presentations directly to our citizens, both anonymous tips and phone calls have skyrocketed” Hutchinson added. The department recognizes that the more exposure they have with citizens, the more likely they are to come forward and partner in both preventing and reporting crime.
While forfeiture funds will purchase the 1949 Ford, the department plans to partner with area antique car clubs to fund its upkeep so that the car can remain an indefinite symbol of the department’s history.
Forfeiture funds are non taxpayer dollars. The funds are derived from cash and assets seized from criminals. Allocations of the funds are regulated by State and Federal law. They cannot be used for normally budgeted items. Titusville has been able to use an average of over $200,000.00 annually for the past few years to fund a number of programs including crime scene processing technology, school resource officers, youth programs, and major drug case investigations.