Johnston Police Department detectives are now riding in style thanks to the efforts of Grieco Auto Group.
Since 2005, the department has used a GMC Savana utility van as its Bureau of Criminal Identification response vehicle to investigate crimes. The van is used at crime scenes to hold supplies and equipment used during the investigation process, such as a fuming booth to locate fingerprints or to provide power to locations without any available.
While the van only has about 15,000 miles on its odometer and was maintained in great working order, its exterior had seen better days. Paint was peeling off the van’s hood and sides, and rust had appeared on its doors and wheel wells.
Rather than purchase a new vehicle, the department explored restoring what they had.
“The refurbishing of the van comes at a time when you need to maximize your resources,” Johnston Police Chief Joseph Razza said. “It allows our dedicated officers to maximize their efforts.”
Members of the department then reached out to Grieco Auto Group to see if repairs could be done.
“We have a long relationship with the department here in town, and we made a decision to donate to the town so that they would continue to have something this size to use to move material around,” said Robert McAuliffe II, executive manager of Grieco Auto Group in Johnston.
According to McAuliffe and Harold Cimorelli Jr., general manager of Grieco Collision, the van required a complete strip-down of the exterior of the vehicle and its hardware, along with some additional interior work, with attention paid to areas that had rusted. The van was then completely painted in a matte black finish. In total, the project cost approximately $10,000.
“We’re very ecstatic that the project is done and that we’re able to give it to the officers to use,” McAuliffe said.
With the restoration complete, the department has already put the van to use.
“It is always reassuring to know that our local businesses are ready to answer the call and aid the Johnston Police Department and the entire community,” Chief Razza said. “We truly appreciate the Grieco family’s generosity and their commitment to this restoration project.”