LOWELL — Acting Superintendent Barry Golner and the Lowell Police Department unveiled a new traffic enforcement cruiser meant to increase the visibility of traffic patrols while also honoring veterans.
There are 61 sworn Lowell Police Officers who are also veterans, and a large number of retired officers are veterans as well.
“This is our small way of showing our appreciation to all veterans, including the 61 sworn officers of the Lowell Police Department who have served their country with distinction,” said Acting Superintendent Golner. “We hope this cruiser is a display of our respect for veterans and the sacrifices they have made for all of us.”
The cruiser was unveiled Thursday to the department’s veterans, City Manager Thomas Golden, the City Council and the statehouse delegation, as each of the department’s veterans was given a sweatshirt in appreciation of their service. A gathering that included pizza and cake followed at the police station.
Following the unveiling, the Lowell Police Department’s contingent of about 20 U.S. Marines celebrated the Marine Corps’ 247th birthday in a small ceremony organized by Officer Kevin Gillan at the police station. The youngest Marine, Lowell General Hospital EMT Robert Rival, cut a birthday cake with a Marine Corps sabre and served the first slice of cake to the oldest Marine, retired Officer Robert Sturtevant. Rival deployed to Afghanistan with Lowell Police Officer Paul Robbins in 2011.
The veterans cruiser was painted using funds from the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), which uses funds received from motor vehicle enforcement to increase the visibility of traffic safety patrols and to reduce crashes and dangerous driving by reminding drivers that police are on patrol.
In addition to being used for high-visibility traffic enforcement patrols, the veterans cruiser will also be sent to local parades and community events.