An opportunity to “pay it forward” to a neighboring town came after the Level Plains Mayor and City council approved four new vehicles for the city’s police department.
The department is the recipient of a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe for the chief to use and three 2022 Ford Explorers for the police captain and both police sergeants.
“When the mayor and council authorized a new car for me, I wanted the supervisors to have new vehicles as well and the mayor and council agreed,” Level Plains Police Chief Johnny Summers said April 27 as he gathered with the city’s elected officials to present one of the department’s replaced vehicles to the town of Clayhatchee.
Clayhatchee Mayor Steve Guice and Police Chief Mike Heath came to Level Plains City Hall April 27 to accept the keys to the 2009 Crown Victoria previously driven by Summers. “It is fully equipped except for a radio,” Summers said. ‘But it has the sirens and it’s ready to go. It’s a good car and runs real well. “We wanted the Clayhatchee police department to have the best one we had available to give because they have been good to us. Chief Heath helps us qualify when we go to the range. If I ever call him, he’s here to help. This is our opportunity to give back to people who do good.”
The Clayhatchee Police Chief’s vehicle was destroyed during a high speed police chase in January that began in Daleville. Heath had been providing backup assistantance for Daleville police in connection with a woman who was reportedly wielding a knife in a grocery story parking lot. The woman jumped in Heath’s patrol car and led law officers on a high speed chase through Level Plains and Enterprise. Andrea Collins, 45, was arrested after the tires on the police car she was driving at speeds reportedly exceeding 80 miles per hour were flattened by police traffic spikes just outside of Enterprise. The disabled police car ran off the road and crashed, totaling the Clayhatchee cruiser.
“We saw that one of our sister cities needed some help. They always help us so we wanted to help them. One good turn deserves another,” said Level Plains Mayor Ronnie Thompson. “We’ve been blessed with a new fleet of police cars so we decided we wanted to give them one to show gratitude and appreciation for always supporting us.”
“I only had two old Chargers and extremely high mileage on those and they were constantly breaking down almost on a weekly basis,” Heath said as he accepted the keys to the gift from Level Plains. “One of the Chargers will be retired soon, due to that high mileage.
“I can’t express appreciation enough for Mayor Thompson, the council and Chief Summers helping us out on this,” said Heath. “We were in pretty bad straights. We had two old vehicles that were constantly breaking down. This will provide extra padding for us in case one goes down we have something to get into and drive.”
“Level Plains has really stepped up to the plate for us,” said Guice. “It’s a blessing for our town. Any help we can get with anything is really appreciated and Level Plains has really stepped up to the plate for us.”
“It all starts with our mayor and city council,” Summers said. “They are pro-police.
“We have a new fleet of police vehicles, which we haven’t done here in years, and it gives us the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and do the right thing,
“It’s an honor and a blessing to be a part of this team,” Summers added. “We have one goal and that’s to do the right thing and that’s what we all shoot for.”