LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- West Buechel Police Department's newest tool comes with four wheels and takes fighting crime off-road.
“You never know when it might show up,” said West Buechel Police Chief, Todd Walls.
Chief Walls started looking into getting a UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, after several complaints from neighbors and businesses surrounding the railroad tracks. The area seemed to be becoming a venue for vandalism and even theft.
“They just come and take what they will, at will,” explained Timothy Hughes, who owns a the TK2 Auto Restoration body shop next to the tracks.
He told WHAS11 News that he calls the police quite often, asking for more officer presence.
“Especially at night, being next to the railroad and all, I get a lot of night traffic so when I have something out here that's special, I'll call and ask them to do an extra patrol.”
The UTV is small enough to drive the dirt roads along the tracks and get to places that cars cannot. It cost about $8.500 and though it's to here to help the community, taxpayers didn't have to pay a dime.
“The grant from the railroad only paid for it partially, and so the rest of it was paid for by the drug seizure fund, therefore we're going to partly patrol the tracks, and partly patrol other areas that have a use for it,” Chief Walls explained.
Business owners like Timothy said they’re thrilled at the thought of less theft and more protection.
“It's been a long time coming. I just felt like I was kind of alone and I got the alarm system and the camera, but it really hasn't been very effective,” Hughes said.
The UTV's intent is to make to make the community safer, but Chief Walls said the smiles it brings have been good, too.
“It's just something to change up the pace and see if we can make a difference and make some smiles with the community.”
The UTV can go up to 50 mph. They’re be patrolling the tracks, neighborhoods and the shopping centers on Bashford Manor.