NEAL P. GOSWAMI
BENNINGTON -- When the Bennington Police Department had trouble with the mounts on their license plate readers, they turned to local students for help.
Plate reader's magnets now secure
Sgt. David Dutcher said a magnetically-mounted license plate reader was not secure on one of the department's SUV vehicles. The curve of the vehicle's roof was preventing it from sticking, he said. So he contacted Bruce Gabrus, who teaches manufacture processes to students at the Career Development Center.
The students soon designed a wedge that could be installed on the cruiser. A steel plate was then adhered to the wedge and powder-coated to prevent it from rusting. The magnets on the license plate reader are now secure, Dutcher said.
"The chances of it blowing off or getting knocked off are much less," Dutcher said. "It was a project that worked out well for us."
Gabrus said his machine trades students have completed several projects for the community. The mount system for the license plate reader involved about four students and took about four class periods to manufacture, he said.
"We do a lot of projects for the community and Sgt. Dutcher is a great advocate for my program and getting students involved with projects that they might normally not get to do," he said.
The students learned new manufacturing techniques as a result of the project, according to Gabrus.
"It took some processes that we don't normally do, like powder coating," he said. "It was a win-win situation because the students got to see another process in manufacturing that we don't do here. It was a great opportunity for my students."
Students in the machine trades as well as an engineering class are now working on creating a secure prescription drug return box for police. Previous projects have included manufacturing mounts for flashlights on police shotguns.
"There's always something that we're doing for the community and the more exposure that we get to show the community what we can do, it's just a win-win for us and the community," Gabrus said.