Law enforcement prepares for winter weather

ARAB, Ala. -- The Arab Police Department will use a fleet of Humvees to get around during Tuesday's winter weather when the usual patrol vehicles can't.

"We have a total of five Humvees," Chief Ed Ralston said, "We have one stationed at the fire department and we have four of them stationed at our rescue squad where they're kept indoors. They're all plugged up, charged, ready to go."

The Humvees will roll out if patrol cars can't in the ice and snow.

"With our police pursuit Tahoes, that's quite an expensive vehicle and they're not designed for the snow. They're two-wheel drive, they're designed for pursuit and patrolling," Ralston explained, "We have some Crown Vics too and they're no better in the snow than the pursuit Tahoes, so without these and some of the four-wheel-drive vehicles that we have, we really are limited on where we can go. This makes it a little bit easier for us to go about where we want."

The department has a jurisdiction that touches four counties, so that's a lot of rural area with a lot of secondary roads that can be hard for the normal vehicles to navigate. Ralston says they've used the Humvees in the past and they got the job done.

After the April 2011 tornadoes, the officers were having a hard time navigating through the damage so they looked to something more durable. The department bought the Humvees through a government surplus program.

The vehicles aren't equipped like the regular patrol cars, but the officers have the gear they need to communicate with the dispatcher back at the station.

The officers can also use the Humvees to transport medical personnel and other responders to their jobs if need be.

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