HBPD vehicle totaled, chief requests a replacement

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A crash by an alleged drunk driver June 9 resulted in damage to two HBPD vehicles and the driver’s Lincoln SUV. Islander Photos: Courtesy HBPD
A crash by an alleged drunk driver June 9 resulted in damage to two HBPD vehicles and the driver’s Lincoln SUV. Islander Photos: Courtesy HBPD

Driving drunk is bad. Hitting a police vehicle while driving drunk is worse.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer requested July 23 city commissioners reallocate $50,000 from the city’s public works debt service to the police department to purchase a new truck.

The new truck would replace a 2014 F-150 police truck that was totaled June 9 when an alleged drunk driver rear-ended it while officers Alan Bores and Josh Betts were conducting a routine traffic stop. Two police vehicles were on the scene at the time of the accident and, while one was totaled, the other sustained several thousand dollars worth of damages.

The Florida League of Cities, which insures the police vehicles, cut two checks to the city — $24,642.16 for the totaled vehicle and $2,586.70 for damages to the other.

The checks were received July 24 and were deposited to the city’s general fund.

Tokajer said the new vehicle cost is $49,708.09.

Tokajer said he hopes to recoup the rest of the money through the driver’s insurance company and possible restitution from the driver.

The Holmes Beach police vehicles are leased for four years then purchased for $1 at the end of the lease. The vehicles are kept for eight years.

Commissioners passed a first reading of the ordinance that would move the funds.

They will hold a final reading and vote at their next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at city hall 5801 Marina Drive.

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