Lebanon, Mo. police department use ATV to patrol parks and events

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LEBANON, Mo -- The Lebanon police department has a new tool to help them patrol their parks and other events, a remodeled ATV.

On Saturday morning at Boswell Park in Lebanon there were hundreds of people spread out across the park for their Route 66 Festival. Lebanon police had their ATV at the event, patrolling, to make sure everyone stayed safe.

Recently the Lebanon parks department approached the police department with a pretty good deal.

"They were getting a new one and it is still in good shape so they transferred it to the police department because we felt like we could make good use out of it for park patrol." explained Lieutenant Keith Shumate, with the Lebanon police department.

He says the ATV came to them at a perfect time, after several incidents of park vandalism in Lebanon.

"Mainly graffiti and some minor vandalism like lights being broken and stuff like that. It all adds up to expenses for the city, and with this we can get in and patrol." Shumate added.

Or when large events are being hosted in Lebanon.

"It is easy to get from one side to the other if we have a situation at the park where we need to get there," said Officer Cheyenne Kinsley. "Sometimes with our patrol cars and the crowd we can’t get there as fast. So it is easy to take it and cut across the park and get there a lot faster than having to drive all the way around."

Kinsley has been the main officer using the ATV, and she likes how it can be used to interact with the community.

"The kids are more approachable to you when you are in an environment like this rather than your patrol car." she explained.

But it can also be used for when the police department is searching for someone in a rural area.

"It gets us off road and gets us into field areas and along the edges of woods or fire trails or something like that," Shumate added. "We have needed something like this and now we have it."

The ATV is equipped with police lights and two spot lights, as well as a dispatch radio inside.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.