Maintenance issues result in new ride

The Department of Public Safety recently replaced its security truck with a 1998 Chevy S-10 because upkeep on the old body was becoming harder.

Kristin Wilfing

The Department of Public Safety recently replaced its security truck with a 1998 Chevy S-10 because upkeep on the old body was becoming harder.

Nate Billings

Department of Public Safety officers are seeing red.

The DPS office is in possession of a used, dark red, 1998 Chevy S-10 to replace the Dodge Dakota, which was moved to maintenance.

“The problem is they run it 24-7,” said Bob Harrington, director of the Physical Plant.

The truck will be used as the main patrol vehicle for the campus. It was bought for $7,200 during a government-surplus sale.

“The old truck was in bad repair,” said Ken Kennedy, director of DPS. “And, we needed a truck to haul the air tank.”

The former patrol vehicle was mechanically all right, but the body was taking damage as the doors and parts were being replaced on a regular basis after repeated use.

“We could keep them running, but we were running out of body parts,” Harrington said.

He said the department needed to find a replacement during the year because of the condition of the old truck, but had no specific plans for when to buy one.

When the auction came up, Harrington took a list of the available vehicles to the mechanics and asked them which one looked the best.

“It was available,” he said. “Red was the only color we could get. It also had the lowest mileage.”

Kennedy and Harrington said they did not know the daily mileage put on the vehicles, but said they are in a constant state of slow speeds or idling.

The truck has been in use for more than a month, but the color of the vehicle was not seen as a problem.

“Hopefully, it’ll stand out on the campus more,” Kennedy said.

The DPS logo and a white stripe was added to the vehicle to make it part of Missouri Southern.

“We thought to make it a green stripe, but we didn’t want it to look to much like Christmas colors,” Kennedy said.

Harrington said another choice was a yellow stripe, but it would make the truck appear too much like Pittsburg State University’s colors.

The secondary vehicle for the patrol is the station wagon. New patrol lights were added to it last month, but the new truck has the same lights from the old truck. Both carry defibulators and crash kits.

“We are the first responders on campus,” he said.

Kennedy said the students should think of the DPS officers first when their services are needed.

“They can take some comfort when they see that little red truck going around at night,” he said. “We’re there for them.”

The DPS is also looking for two positions to fill. A recent transfer has left an opening for a full-time patrol officer. There is also an opening for a part-time patrol officer. Any applicants must have completed the police academy or if they are in the academy, can complete it within 90 days after taking the position.

For more information regarding the position, contact Kennedy at 625-9741.