After a couple of months of secrecy, the Burnet Police Department unveiled its newest patrol unit Tuesday, Nov. 9. Called a veterans appreciation vehicle, it was kept under wraps so it could be announced close to Veterans Day. It will go into service on that holiday, Thursday, Nov. 11.
The vehicle features decals of each of the five U.S. military branches, a yellow ribbon, camouflage highlights, and POW/MIA emblems.
“With having this out as a visible symbol every day, we hope the community will come out and recognize our veterans,” Burnet Police Chief Brian Lee said during the unveiling ceremony. “We hope veterans will see our officers and be encouraged to come out and talk to us.
“Our ultimate goal is this vehicle will remain a way of showing our appreciation to the veterans in our community and the sacrifices that have been made for all of us,” he added.
Veteran and Officer Shawn Kohler will use the vehicle on patrol beginning Thursday. It will be on display during R.J. Richey Elementary School’s Veterans Day celebration before Kohler takes it out for duty on the night shift.
Lee pointed out during the ceremony that the Burnet Police Department currently has 10 officers who served a combined 62 years in the military.
Members of the Burnet Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6974 attended the unveiling. Post Quartermaster Jerry Holt approved of the new veterans appreciation vehicle.
“It means (a) constant reminder of veterans in our community,” he said.
Post Trustee Jim Meyer agreed.
“This just shows real support for the whole community, and there are so many more veterans in this area,” he said. “This is showing that the cops are here and they are with us.”
Executive editor Suzanne Freeman contributed to this report.