The Jonesville Police Department is paying tribute to the legacy of the “Jonesville Wildcat.”
Jonesville Police Department cars — two Dodge Chargers — were completely unmarked until Wednesday.
“In a small town like this, police need to be visible at all times and seen in neighborhoods,” said Jonesville Mayor Ernest Moore. “Some of our citizens want that sense of security; to feel protected.”
Police Chief Jimmy Kimbrell and Moore decided the cars should be semi-marked — striping and identification on the sides but plain on the front and rear.
The markings on the cars were not purchased from town budget money, however. The department salvaged an old police car — which had been totaled by a collision with a deer — to pay for the additions to the current police cars.
One particular item within the new police car striping is unique to the Town of Jonesville.
Located within the “O” of the word “POLICE” on the side of the car is the head of the Jonesville Wildcat.
The picture is a copy of a wildcat from a 20-year-old Jonesville High School yearbook.
“We want to do what we can do to keep the tradition going,” Moore said. “The wildcats are still alive at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School.”
Kimbrell added the police department had received many calls and compliments about the new design after only one day.
“The people of Jonesville really like it,” he said.
In addition to the wildcat, the car also displays a brand new badge design. Kimbrell decided to change Jonesville’s badge to a seven-point star design but not before consulting with Union County Sheriff David Taylor.
“Some sheriffs don’t like for other departments to have star badges, but he was very receptive. Our badge doesn’t look anything like theirs,” Kimbrell said. “The sheriff is very supportive of everything we’re doing.”
The new star badges will replace the shield-style badge currently worn by Jonesville officers. In addition to the seven-point design, they will be smaller than the current badges.
One of those wearing a newly designed badge will be recently-hired officer Roger Suber. Suber formerly worked as a Union County deupty and already had officer certification.
This saved the department the cost of sending him to officer training which usually costs around $10,000.
Suber was able to go right to work.