A sobriety checkpoint held at Talmer and Schricker avenues in North Judson Friday night didn’t lead to any arrests, but it did end badly for one Knox police officer when he struck a deer and totaled his squad car. Knox Mayor Rick Chambers told the city council at their meeting this week that the accident totaled the 1997 Crown Victoria squad car, which he said had around 100,000 miles on it at the time of the accident.
City Police Chief Clint Norem said the insurance company told him that based on the estimate, the car is likely totaled and they would need to send an adjustor to check out the vehicle. Norem said that adjustor has since visited and determined that the vehicle is a total loss, but he is still waiting to learn the amount that the city will receive from the insurance.
Unfortunately, while the car is covered by insurance, the equipment within is not. Because there are no longer Crown Victoria squad cars being manufactured or available for reasonable purchase, that equipment is now obsolete.
The police department is now down to just four squad cars, and with the drastic budget cuts over the last few years, Norem said they now have no money in their budget to purchase a new car. Chambers said he will wait and see how much they will receive from insurance, and then decide whether or not a new vehicle can be purchased.
Norem said the officer involved in the accident was not injured.