NORWALK, Conn. – It was "Christmas in April" Wednesday in the parking lot behind Norwalk Police headquarters, as the department's top brass waited to see what Officer Chris Holms would bring.
"You're like a kid with a new toy," Chief Harry Rilling said to Holms, the city's D.A.R.E. officer, who breezed in with police lights flashing, sitting behind the wheel of a convertible, top down, open to the sun.
Holms was driving the city's new D.A.R.E. mobile, which did not cost Norwalk a dime. The 1992 Ford Mustang was donated by the city of Fairfield and features a free paint job by Park Way Auto Body, with free detailing from Fleet Auto Supply in New Haven. The Norwalk Exchange club, which donates nearly 700 t-shirts every year for the fifth graders in the D.A.R.E. program, covered other expenses.
D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Norwalk's chapter of the national program started in 1987.
Holm said the vehicle will be good for publicity purposes and will excite the kids at their upcoming graduation ceremony.
"When the kids see it they go bonkers," he said. "They love it, it's good for the public to see."
The city got the car through Holms' personal connection to Fairfield Department Chief Chris Lyddy. Holms grew up in Fairfield and was in the Police Explorer program, of which Lyddy was the advisor.