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Ridgeland donates police cruisers to Indiana town

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (AP) — A small Indiana town whose police chief elected to be shot with a stun gun to help raise money for a new police cruiser suddenly has more than enough squad cars to go around.

Knightstown Police Chief Danny Baker and three drivers picked up four free cruisers last week from the Ridgeland, S.C., police department, which donated the Crown Victoria Interceptors.

The 63-year-old Baker and another town official were shot by a stun gun Nov. 27 to raise the remainder of $9,000 the town needed to lease a new cruiser. Baker, who suffered a torn rotator cuff from being stunned by the Taser’s 50,000 volts, said the response to the stunt was “astronomical.”

Ridgeland Police Chief Richard Woods read about Baker’s fundraising gambit and decided to donate the unused cruisers, which he said “were basically sitting in our back storage lot.”

“If he was willing to endure that kind of thing to raise a car, I thought it was the right thing to do,” Woods told The Courier-Times.

He said each of vehicles is fully operable and has 100,000 miles or less mileage, but one needs work on its heater.

Baker said the donation saved his department untold expenses. He said his fundraising stunt left his department with more than enough in pledges to buy a new cruiser and that it could be well on its way to affording a second.

Each of Knightstown’s three full-time officers could soon be assigned his own vehicle with others to spare, Baker said. He plans to equip three of the former Ridgeland cruisers with radios that his department already owns.

Woods, whose force numbers 15 officers, said he debated whether to donate the four cruisers to Knightstown, a community of about 2,200 residents some 25 miles east of Indianapolis.

“I wanted to do it very quietly … no attention. They (Knightstown) have a need,” he said.

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