The grant of more than $40,000, which came from the state through the Kilgore-based East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG), also financed an office computer with up-to-date software, and a year’s supply of cartridges for the printer Dolle already had, the constable said.
The money came from “a Justice Assistance Grant awarded by the State of Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Division,” said Angela Norton, former ETCOG employee and former Assistant Upshur County District Attorney.
Dolle, whose office is in the county Rock Building in Gilmer, serves the southeast Gilmer, south Diana, Glenwood and East Mountain vpting precincts.
He said the new vehicle is vastly superior to his former one, a 2009 Dodge Charger which he said was plagued by electronic and engine problems and which was repaired under a factory recall.
“Everything about this (new) car was paid for by the grant,” and “didn’t cost the county a penny,” Dolle said. He said procuring it involved teamwork on the part of himself, the County Commissioners Court, where County Judge Dean Fowler “was the key”; County Auditor Brandy Lee, and Ms. Norton, who assisted with the grant application.
The Explorer’s features include a 330 HP V-6 engine and all-wheel drive, which Dolle said allows pulling out of slick places. The vehicle also has a caged jump seat capable of holding two passengers, a plexiglass partition between that seat and the front seat, and a rear storage area.
The back area houses such items as first aid supplies, duct tape, an umbrella, rubber boots, and a machete (used to help clear wooded areas in searches).
In addition, the Explorer has double gun locks for an AR-15 rifle and shotgun, a new 2-way radio, and a “push bar” on the front.
As for the computer, Dolle said it will let him access a website to alert other officers to be on the lookout for a wanted person, and to gather information on that individual, which is customary elsewhere.
The Explorer came from Cauldwell Ford and Chevrolet in Temple, which outfitted it and which handles police vehicles financed by such grants, Dolle said. Sign Pro of Longview did the graphics on the car, also financed by the grant.