Tesla Model S Donated to Ohio Village Police Department Now on Patrol

Image: Gates Mills Police Department on Facebook

Earlier this year, a generous resident of the Village of Gates Mills in Northeast Ohio donated a “gently used” 2019 Tesla Model S to the local police department for use as a patrol car.

According to Police1, the Model S has been retrofitted for a squad car and is now ready to hit the streets.

“We have a great working relationship with our residents. We do a lot of community service. It’s our focus, down here,” said Police Chief Gregg Minichello in an interview.

It is because of that relationship that a resident of Minichello’s community offered to donate a Tesla Model S to the police department. While the donor chose to remain anonymous, Police Chief Minichello described them as a generous law enforcement supporter and Tesla enthusiast.

The donor also financed around $20,000 USD in overall costs of turning the Model S into a full-fledged patrol vehicle, which included additional equipment, graphic wraps for the car, and a charging station.

“I did my research. I talked to other departments who fitted the Tesla to be a police car,” said Minichello. “I mean the most important thing for me is safety, is it practical down here, and it is. All-wheel drive vehicle, it’s safe. There are nine cameras on there for office safety. It handles well.”

The Model S was generously donated to the city council back in May, and the fully modified Tesla patrol car officially hit the streets last month.

Minichello said the donor is excited to see if using an electric vehicle (EV) as a patrol car will be practical.

“This is just something he wanted to do,” said the Police Chief. “It’s just real enjoyable to have people like that in your community, I can’t stress that enough.”

Minichello expects lower maintenance costs but he says it’s too early to tell. Other police departments that have added Tesla EVs to their fleet have reported significant savings in both fuel and maintenance costs, with Indiana’s Bargersville Police Department reporting a whopping $6,000+ in savings over the course of a year.

The Model S has a range of 325 miles (523 km) and takes about two hours for a full charge. According to Minihello, the department should easily be able to get away with two consecutive patrol shifts in Gate Mills, a town of about 9 square miles.

Earlier this week, Tesla shared some interesting results from a pilot project in the U.K., where the EV maker custom-built Model 3 patrol cruisers for police departments.