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New vehicles purchased for SCC Security Patrol

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By MELODY JAMESON

SUN CITY CENTER – Two new vehicles have been added to this community’s Security Patrol fleet courtesy of three recent cash contributions.

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MELODY JAMESON
Twins to this late model Sun City Center Security Patrol car, two new Hyundai sedans are scheduled to go into service across the retirement community this week. The two 2011 vehicles were purchased recently with $44,000 in contributions provided by the SCC Community Foundation and a resident’s bequest. Another $10,000 donated by the Nearly New Shop will keep the white vehicles with bright blue security patrol insignia fueled and on the road, helping to maintain the community’s low crime rate and rendering a range of services. The new cars, equipped with radio systems to maintain constant communications with dispatchers, also sport the lower profile light bars. An estimated 34 such vehicles have patrolled the community’s streets during daylight and night time hours throughout the volunteer organization’s 30 year history.
The two 2011 Hyundai sedans were expected to begin service this week following the detailing that marks them as part of the volunteer-based community security force , said Martha Finley, patrol chief. Early in the week, the white vehicles were being painted along their doors with the bright blue insignia of the patrol, receiving the newer style, low profile light bars on their roofs and equipped with the two-way radio systems that keep them in constant communication with patrol dispatchers.

The latest vehicle purchases were underwritten by recent substantial donations to the patrol, Finley noted. A $15,000 grant forthcoming from the Sun City Center Community Foundation combined with a $29,000 bequest under the terms of a local resident’s will to generate $44,000 in acquisition funds. In addition, $10,000 contributed by the Nearly New shop operations will supply gasoline to keep the new vehicles on the road throughout the community, she said.

The new additions bring the patrol fleet to a total of five vehicles, four of them late-model Hyundais and one a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, Finley said. At one time, the fleet was composed primarily of the Chevrolets, but recurring problems with the vehicle lights prompted the change which is proving popular, the patrol chief added.

Despite repeated problems experienced by the patrol which meant taking the Chevys out of service time after time, “there were no recalls” issued by General Motors for the Chevrolets and “ no break from the dealer,” Finley noted.

The Hyundais, on the other hand, so far have given reliable service and are popular with the volunteer drivers who pilot them around the community, the patrol chief said. “Several drivers have liked them so much, they’ve bought them as their personal cars,” she added.

Moreover, the Hyundais, while the product of a foreign company, are American-made in Alabama, Finley noted. The manufacturing plant employs U.S. citizens and the dealership marketing the vehicles is staffed by Americans, she asserted.

In the course of two to three years of service in the patrol fleet, driven by a steady succession of different drivers each day and night throughout the week, each vehicle racks up about 80,000 miles, at which point trade-in is considered, Finley indicated.

And, throughout the patrol’s 30-year history, she estimated that 34 vehicles have served in the fleet. The first car was numbered 22, for reasons unknown, she added, and the newest Hyundai will bear number 56.

The SCC Security Patrol, founded in 1981 as a small neighborhood watch group, has grown over the three decades to become a primary community service organization, supported by cash contributions and the donated hours of hundreds of volunteers who manage various aspects, dispatch vehicles and routinely patrol the entire residential community as well as close-in business districts in order to maintain one of the lowest crime rates in the county. The patrol also works closely with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2010 Melody Jameson
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