NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 2, 2013

New Humvee helps Salisbury police get set for winter

SALISBURY — With still-fresh memories of the challenges of last winter — including the need to evacuate North End Boulevard residents after coastal flooding threatened their homes, — the Salisbury Police Department has a new vehicle that it will make a significant impact should beach residents need to be rescued again.

The vehicle, an Army surplus Humvee has been part of the department’s fleet of vehicles since Memorial Day, but according to police, the main idea behind picking it up was to have it on hand for winter. Last year, coastal flooding forced the town to evacuate dozens of residents, some of them who hitched a ride on a Department of Public Works backhoe.

“Places were so flooded out we couldn’t reach them,” Salisbury police Officer James Leavitt said.

Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said the Humvee was U.S Army surplus, given to the town free of charge. Local and area businesses, Coastal Connections and Sal’s Garage of Elm Street, and Adamson Industries of Haverhill, performed necessary modifications and give the vehicle a new paint job, offering their services free of charge or at a discount.

Spearheading the charge for a new Humvee were officers Michael Tullercash and Leavitt, who both served in the military and were very aware of what a Humvee could mean for the coastal community. Tullercash, according to Leavitt, identified an available Humvee and began inquiring about how to bring it to Salisbury.

Leavitt, who served in the Air Force, said he spent time behind the wheel of a Humvee while conducting training exercises at Fort Devens. There, he drove through the messiest swamps and found that his Humvee wouldn’t get bogged down in the muck.

“I drove right through it like it was nothing,” Leavitt said.

Since the department acquired the Humvee over the summer, it has been put to good use. The Humvee was rolled out in time for Memorial Day and featured at the Sand and Sea Festival in July. Around the same time, the Humvee was used to patrol the beach as police looked to curtail bonfires which are illegal.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Special Features