The Brookings Police Department received an early Christmas present Monday a renovated patrol car for its Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS).

Its exactly what we needed, said Lt. John Bishop. Our existing car was on its last legs.

The city was able to get the renovated car because of a $3,000 donation by resident Dolores Loring.

She called city manager Leroy Blodgett several weeks ago wanting to donate money for something, Bishop said.

She didnt know we needed a car, but when we called her back and asked if the money could be used for it, she was ecstatic, Bishop said.

The car, a 1994 Chevy Capri used by an Idaho sheriffs department, was renovated Restored Emergency Vehicles, a Boise-based company. A salesman for the company, Tim Africa, lives in Brookings and worked with Bishop on getting the car.

The cost of the renovated vehicle was $4,000.

When the company learned the police department had only $3,000, it offered to buy the existing VIPS car for $1,000 to make up the difference.

We got a good deal, Bishop said.

Part of the cars restoration included replacing the rear end and the light bar. A new interior was also installed.

Its a beautiful vehicle, said Doug Johnson, volunteer coordinator for the VIPS. Members will be crawling over each other to drive it.

He said the new car has several features the old one didnt, including a spotlight on the outside of the drivers door and lights on each side of the light rack on the roof used to illuminate dark areas.

It looks a lot more like a patrol car, Johnson said.

The VIPS, he added, had no idea the group was getting a new car. It was quite a surprise.

Bishop said the city has sent a letter of appreciation and a plaque to Loring for her donation.

Well also take a picture of her with the car for her to keep, he said.

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