Collision students partner with Rye Police to restore vehicle

Collaborative community project complete

This spring students in the Collision Technology classes worked on a special community project that assisted the Rye Police Department with the renovation of a future police vehicle.

The Rye Police Department obtained a Chevy Tahoe through a grant program that they wished to become part of their auxiliary fleet. The department wanted to have the vehicle repainted in black and white to match its existing fleet.

Through a chance encounter at a conference, Lt. Scott Craig of the Rye Police Department met Principal James Matera who told him about CTE and courses offered at the Center for Career Services. To Lt. Craig, it seemed like a perfect fit.

 “We are very excited about this joint effort between the Rye Police Department and the kids,” Lt. Craig said. “We have a lot of outreach program that we work side-by-side with the kids in our community and this gives us another opportunity to work with kids in another community. It’s exciting for us and I’m sure it will be exciting for them to be part of this journey to get this into service for the department.”

 In April the vehicle was brought to the collision garage where students conducted a thorough inspection. They looked to see what shape the vehicle was in and what supplies they would need to do the necessary work.

 When Lt. Craig returned to campus seven weeks later, he was surprised to see the vehicle transformed from a gray, drab truck to a road-worthy black and white police vehicle.

 “They did a phenomenal job,” he said. “I was telling the kids it actually looks better than some of the cars in our fleet right now.”

 The project had several benefits for both students and the police department.

 Teacher Paul Casagrande said it was something every student in his classes contributed to right from the start.

 “It’s an opportunity to do a community project and have all the kids work on it,” Mr. Casagrande said.

 For Mr. Matera the project was one of many community projects that enabled his students to interact and contribute to the broader community.

 “They are really taking the lead on this,” Mr. Matera said. Some students, in general, shy away from the police. Developing better relationships with them is a side goal.”

 The shiny “new” vehicle left campus on June 6, the student’s work done. It will eventually have the appropriate decals, stripes and lights added by the police department to it before being put into service.