FALCONER - As local police departments work to serve and protect, they always appreciate a helping hand from the community.
Until recently, the Town of Ellicott Police Department's arsenal was without a speed trailer, which is often used in construction and school zones to help remind drivers to slow down. However, thanks to the generosity of a local business, the Ellicott Police Department now owns one.
"A while back, David Whitehill of Dependable Auto in Falconer approached us and asked if he could help us out by making a donation," said Chief William L. Ohnmeiss Jr. "Not only did he purchase the speed trailer for us, but he also donated an additional monetary amount which is (going to be used) to purchase stop strips for the department in the event of a high-speed chase."
According to Ohnmeiss, whenever the Ellicott Police Department needed to use a speed trailer to help inform drivers of their current speed, it has needed to borrow a trailer from the Sheriff's Department, which has proven to be an inconvenience in the past. And though the new speed trailer has only been in the Ellicott Police Department's possession for a few weeks, it has already seen a significant amount of use.
"The public loves to see these (speed trailers)," said Ohnmeiss. "We get requests from the public constantly about putting a trailer in places where residents are concerned about the speed of passing vehicles. It is a great deterrent and an education device - that's really the important thing to remember. We're so used to seeing speed signs that we've become (desensitized) to them. The trailer is big, out of the ordinary and interactive. Drivers respond to (the trailer) well, and even after the trailer is moved, drivers seem to obey speed limits more consistently."
In addition to Whitehill, Ohnmeiss wished to thank Armando Calamungi of C and A Auto in Celoron. Calamungi made some small repairs and detailed the speed trailer free of cost.
"It's so important to recognize those who help to make the community a safer place," said Ohnmeiss. "We are so grateful for donation, as well as everything the community has done for us in the past."