Decatur Police starting up a new unit — the boat unit

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – The Decatur Police Department is about to add a new unit — a boat unit.   It comes thanks to a federal grant and lots of donations from the River City’s business community.

The vessel doesn’t have a name yet, but the Decatur Police Department can’t wait to meet her in person.

It’s the department’s new 27-foot inflatable boat.

“This vessel was completely custom-made for the Decatur Police Department,” said Lt. John Crouch.  He watched it come together over the RibCraft Facebook page.

He said it was a $250,000 project, paid for with $41,000 from the city of Decatur, federal grant money and support of local businesses.

“So far we’ve had $37,000 contributed by donations, mostly from the plants and industries on the river and that will go towards operating expenses for the boat,” said Crouch.

Up until now, the Decatur Police Department has always had to rely on the Morgan County Rescue Squad and Alabama Marine Police to help them with incidents on the water.

The department’s new boat unit will consist of a lieutenant, a sergeant and two police officers.  The vessel is large enough for 12 passengers.

“It would be enough to handle first responders, rescue personnel, be enough to handle the majority of our special response team, should the need arise,” Crouch explained.

He added the boat will not be out on patrol every day, only when it is needed for special events.

Within the next two weeks,  the lieutenant assigned to the unit will drive to Massachusetts to pick up the boat.  He’ll get training while he is there and then drive it back home.