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Accident puts W’bago in market for new squad

By Staff | Jun 1, 2010

The Winnebago City Council has found out that assisting county authorities can be costly at times.

Police Chief Bob Toland says the department’s newest squad car was totaled while an officer was responding to a May 15 call around 11:58 p.m. on 338th Avenue in Winnebago Township.

“The officer was trying to get to the scene as quickly as possible so he could determine what was needed,” he says.

The police officer reportedly lost control of the vehicle and ended up in a ditch.

Toland says officer Tim Dirkes was taken to United Hospital in Blue Earth for an examination but did not suffer any injuries.

Because the department was down to one vehicle, the council discussed buying a new car after finishing interviewing three candidates for city administrator on May 22.

Council members approved using $10,500 in insurance money to purchase a 2010 Dodge Charger squad car for $21,684.

The remainder of the cost will be paid out of the police department’s capital outlay fund.

Toland says the Charger was the only vehicle available from a state contractor in Fergus Falls.

Because the department’s vehicles were Chevy Impalas, Toland says the officers were able to test drive a Dodge Charger from the sheriff’s department.