PATONG: Officers from Kathu Police Station will find it easier to patrol the sands of Patong Beach with the new 4×4 off-road vehicles presented to them yesterday by the US Embassy in Thailand.
The vehicles, called ST 4×4, were donated by E-Z-Go Company, which is owned by Textron, well-known for its Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft brands.
Two of the vehicles, which have a top speed of 40kmh, will be used for patrolling Patong Beach, while a third will be reserved for use by American officials visiting Phuket.
One of the remaining two vehicles will be sent to Koh Phi Phi Don to patrol the dunes there, and the other will be sent to for use in Khao Lak, Phang Nga.
Dan Boling, Manager of International Sales Asia Pacific for E-Z-Go, said the five vehicles were worth a total of about 2 million baht, and that they could be used around the clock for routine patrols.
“Everybody knows what happened during the tsunami, and these vehicles are the perfect solution for warning people in the event of something similar happening again,” he said.
“If we can save one life or assist one person, that is good for everybody.”
On hand to receive the vehicles from David L Turner, chief of the US Defense Department’s Force Protection Detachment at the US Embassy in Bangkok, was Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Suwit Othong.
Gen Suwit said it was likely that police officers would wear “tourist-friendly” clothes, such as batik shirts, when patrolling in the cars, rather than their uniforms.
He added that the vehicles could be used to help reduce the number of tourist drownings, but that Kathu Police Station Superintendent Pol Lt Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen will have the final say in how the vehicles are used.
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