Over the past eight years, Coventry Police Detective Dave Tucker has come across many great finds in the form of law enforcement equipment, supplies and weapons by mastering the art of navigating the LESO (Law Enforcement Support Office) that offers agencies deep discounts on previously-owned military and police items. Tucker recently scored the deal of a lifetime when he found the department two military Hummers and gear to outfit them worth upwards of $140,000 for free.
The Department would have had to pay around $600 to have the vehicles shipped to Coventry from Pennsylvania but thanks to the generosity of Coventry's Virginia Transportation Fleet Manager Lou Ferrara, the Humvees were transported for $1.
"Kudos to Virginia Transportation," said Police Chief Bryan Volpe. "We're really thankful to them, they didn't have to do that," agreed Tucker.
The vehicles became available as the military began to purge all of their older models to make room for newer ones, explained Tucker, but as the old adage goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure", and they will go to good use in Coventry. Despite being manufactured in 1993, both vehicles have very low mileage, one with only 20,000 and the other with 22,000 miles.
Volpe explained that the trucks will be used for safer mobility in times of hazardous weather conditions like heavy snow, floods or hurricanes. "We will use them at times when normal vehicle transportation is just not going to happen," he said. "They will definitely be an asset to the community."
The protective gear on the units will also allow for use in difficult terrain like sand or wooded areas as well as during dangerous criminal operations, such as high-risk warrants. The Hummers will be utilized by the Coventry-West Warwick Regional SWAT Team as well. "The vehicles will definitely do their job if we ever need them to," said Tucker.
In the past, Tucker has purchased many different types of equipment through the LESO system, including Kevlar helmets, body armor, rifles and night-vision equipment, and he is also skilled at finding individual parts to items that he can rebuild to gain an even bigger discount than buying them whole.
"Dave does a lot for our agency," said Volpe. "He knows how to use this great program and has a knack for finding the military stuff and because of him, we've been able to get much better equipment."
In one year, the agency acquired around $1.2 million worth of equipment for a total of only $800 worth of shipping.