CLINTON — The Board of Selectmen has given the Police Department permission to buy a new cruiser, which the police chief said will be a pickup truck instead of an SUV, a first for the department.

Selectmen authorized the department Tuesday to buy a 2022 Ford F-150 at a cost of $39,995.

Chief Stanley “Rusty” Bell said the purchase price of a pickup truck is a bit less than the cost of an SUV, and area police departments with pickup trucks have said maintenance is typically less expensive, too.

In addition, a pickup truck is likely to have better resale value than an SUV, according to Bell.

“I just think that going in, we’re going to be a little less, maintenance should be a little less and on the back end, we’re going to get, let’s say, $5,000 more for it,” Bell said.

The cost of the pickup truck is to be covered by the department’s equipment reserve fund, which now has more than $42,000 in it. The cruiser to be replaced by the pickup truck is a 2017 Ford SUV, which would be sold after the pickup arrives.


The purchase is part of the Police Department’s effort to replace vehicles in a timely manner, Bell said Wednesday. Department policy is to buy one new vehicle every other year, Bell said, which has significantly lowered maintenance costs.

In other matters, selectmen held a public hearing Tuesday on proposed changes to the town charter, on which residents are to vote Nov. 8 at a special town meeting. The changes are mostly related to language and grammar, not the intent of the charter, Town Manager John Bellino said Wednesday.

The proposed changes include the budget committee having nine members instead of 10, the economic development committee having five members instead of seven and the addition of language on videoconferencing for public meetings.

Resident Steve Hebert objected Tuesday to how town officials made the changes. Outgoing Town Manager Earla Haggerty said she worked with several volunteers to come up with proposed changes, which were then heard at several meetings by the Board of Selectmen. She said selectmen then made edits and approved the changes.

Hebert said the town should have formed an official committee to go over the charter and hold public meetings on any modifications.

Selectmen Chair Jeffrey Towne said the changes were only amendments, not major revisions, to the charter, so the town did not have to go through an official charter revision process.

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