A new Sheriff in town

Bethel’s security team has a valuable addition, a Ford Interceptor.

Meghan DuerreFreelance

Bethel’s security team has beefed up their fleet in 2015 with the acquisition of a brand-new Ford Interceptor. After 3,887 patrols and 1,888 escorts last year, Chief of Security Andrew Luchsinger sees the ride as a valuable addition.

“Our previous vehicle had the highest maintenance costs of all the cars in Bethel’s fleet,” Luchsinger said. “We run our vehicles almost 24 hours a day which really contributes to wear and tear.”

The new car is equipped with features that previous security vehicles didn’t have; all wheel drive, better suspension and an engine that can handle long periods of idling.

The car did not come free, however.

“It was planned out as part of the vehicle pool replacement fund and was not an additional expense that would be covered by either donations or tuition dollars,” Luchsinger explained. Engine and suspension repairs were costly for the older vehicles. According to Luchsinger, the new vehicle will reduce those expenses, offering a chance for the department to save money in the long run.

The new security vehicle was purchased shortly before last year’s crime report was released. Luchsinger denied any correlation between the crime report and the purchase.

“Because the vehicle is equipped with warning lights,” he said, “it will also increase safety as we respond to emergencies throughout campus and allow our officers to safely respond quickly .”

Although on-campus crime was up last year from the previous year, Bethel is ranked as the safest college in Minnesota and No. 22 in the nation by Niche.com. While the bright lights may be a nuisance for star-gazers, the security team is confident that the new vehicle will serve as an effective tool for keeping Bethel safe.