Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

June 27, 2013

Fresh look for Merrimack cruisers


The Andover Townsman

---- — When Chief Michael Del Greco of Merrimack College Police Services needed an update on his cruisers, he radioed Greater Lawrence Technical School.

Students in the auto collision program at the regional technical high school in Andover spent the spring giving the college police force’s cruisers a new look.

Hoping to follow a national trend that has law enforcement returning to the retro black and white colors for their vehicles, Del Greco sought a paint job for his department’s three marked cruisers, which are about five years old. He and Major Thomas Murphy of the college’s Police Services met with auto collision lead instructor Tom Hatem and contracted GLTS, which has a full-service auto body shop, and its students for the job.

Hatem said the well-kept cars came to him in April. A team of GLTS juniors and seniors taped them up and sanded them down. The prep work continued with the removal of a few small dents, followed by the removal of the striping. From there, the cars went into the school’s paint booth before they were refinished.

The project took about one week to complete. Following the work at GLTS, the cruisers were taken to an outside company for striping.

“The students enjoyed working on them,” Hatem said in a press release. “We’re appreciative that he trusted us.”

Officials at both GLTS and Merrimack College called the project a win-win for everyone. Del Greco and Murphy returned to GLTS to thank the students and their instructors. As part of the celebration, Del Greco presented students with police service arm patches and Merrimack College hats.

“They did a really great job,” Del Greco said.