GREENVILLE, Maine — Police have a new Polaris all-terrain vehicle and it didn’t cost property tax payers one cent.
The department was one of 70 public safety departments across the country to be awarded a Polaris six-wheel ATV by the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. owned by Altria.
The Greenville Police Department was the only grant applicant in Maine to receive the new vehicle.
“We’re very excited about the potential use for this piece of equipment,” Police Chief Scott MacMaster said Wednesday. He said the vehicle would be used for ATV patrols and camp checks in the spring and to assist firefighters and ambulance personnel during searches or rescues. MacMaster, who drafted the grant application, said the best part was “it wasn’t local, state or federal dollars, it was private funding.”
Each year, the company offers about 70 all-terrain vehicles through its Operation Ranger grant program.
Thousands of applications are received each year, according to Bill Phelps, Altria spokesman.
“Obviously there’s a lot of need out there,” Phelps said Wednesday. “I’m glad [Greenville police] were able to get one.”
Phelps said the grant program started after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The company wanted to recognize the efforts of first responders and help their organizations. Since the 2001 event, the company has awarded about 460 new Polaris all-terrain vehicles, he said.