FERRIS — The Ferris Police Department has added a new edition to the city with the help of a $27,000 fully funded, zero match grant from the Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Program.

With the help of this grant through Gov. Rick Perry’s office, the department was able to purchase a 2007 fully equipped Crown Victoria marked squad car.

“We applied for this grant in December and we were notified of approval on Feb. 21, 2007,” dispatcher and grant writer Olivia Wheeler said, noting the vehicle was picked up for use March 23. “The governor’s office has many grants to apply for and they decide whether or not if they want to fund any.

“We’re hoping to apply for at least two more grants in the next year to purchase two more vehicles like this one,” she said. “This car is very different than the other cars we are used to having.”

This car’s features include a digital camera system, a more advanced radar system, a more secure prisoner guard, a top of the line light box, an automatic shotgun holder and others.

Officer D.L. Coslin said he is very pleased with the features this car has opposed to the older cars.

“On the car, all parts are all brand new and state of the art. The new radar system is an awesome feature we have and with it, we (the officers) are able to spot violators while the car is either moving or sitting still,” Coslin said. “The prisoner guard is more secured because it has a sliding glass feature rather than the cage, and this allows more visibility and safety for the officer.

“The digital camera is for rear and front vision of violators,” he said. “As an officer, it protects us civilly and it also protects citizens. Everything said or done is recorded on a DVD rather than a VHS, and everything is secured, which means nothing can be tampered with.”

The car also has something easily recognized by passersby on its rear bumper — the department’s Web site, www.ferrispd.com.

“This vehicle is more updated than the other ones we have,” Wheeler said. “We had three squad cars before but we recently lost one, so now we’re down to two plus this one. With this new edition, we’re hoping for a new image and a fresh start for the city.”

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com