Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk hands Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams the keys to a 1994 Ford Mustang his department received from a drug forfeiture. The Mustang will be repainted and fixed up as a show car for Hopkins County Sheriff's D.A.R.E. Sgt. Glynda Chester to use. Also on hand for the donation were (back) HCSO Chief Investigator Andy Chester and Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan.

Mustang seized in narcotics bust

now will serve in war against drugs

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Hopkins County D.A.R.E. Sgt. Glynda Chester will be riding in style, thanks to Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk, who donated a 1994 Ford Mustang to Hopkins County Sheriff's Office for her to use at the schools and as a show car.

The teal-green Mustang was seized about two years ago during a  narcotics arrest by Red River Valley Drug Task Force, and has been in storage awaiting disposition from forfeiture proceedings since. It was recently awarded to the police department, who in turn donated the vehicle to Hopkins County DARE.

�"It�s a good cause for a good person," Bayuk said after handing the keys to Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams Tuesday morning. "I fully support D.A.R.E. and what they�re doing over here."

He added he and the sheriff work well together, which Adams said facilatated the exchange.

�We do have a good working relationship among local law enforcement in the county," Adams said. "If he asks for me for something, I�m going to try to give it to him."

When asked the actual value of the car, the police chief grinned and laughed.

�It�s priceless � it was taken from a drug dealer," Bayuk said.�

He also emphasized, however, the role the district attorney's office plays in obtaining seized items such as the Mustang.

"Without the diligence of the district attorney’s office — Lori Duncan and Assistant District Attorney Samantha Crouch — this would not have been possible,” Bayuk said. "They have been instrumental in getting vehicles and currency forfeited to my agency. Because of their work I am able to give this car to the sheriff’s office for D.A.R.E."

The sheriff's office will begin working on the car to make it a show piece to display on the DARE conference circuit, but most importantly so it gets the attention of the children the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program targets.

�The first thing the kids ask when I go to the schools is, 'What does your vehicle look like?' 'What does it do?' then they want to sit in it and ask to turn on the lights and everything,� Sgt. Chester said. �The sportier it is, the better the kids like it. They�re going to love it.�

�We�re going to try our best to get it in tip-top shape,� Sheriff Adams said. "One of our goals is to make kids not be scared of the police. We�re here to help."

Aside from a dent in one side, and some scratches left when a narcotics canine alerted on the car for contraband, the body of the car is in good shape. Some additions will be made to out fit the car, which will also receive repair work to ensure it runs good.

"We’ll be putting in a sound system, lights and sirens. The kids will be all over it and have fun," the D.A.R.E. officer said.

�We�re going to paint it white like our patrol trucks and use our other colors in graphics,� said HCSO Chief Investigator Andy Chester. "I went with Glynda to the last two conferences, and we�ve seen all kinds of vehicles, from Mustangs to Chargers and pickups, and even some Suburbans. This past year year, Mustangs seem to be real popular."

Fixing the car may take a while, however, since repairs and upgrades will depend on availability of funding, and DARE is funded by donation only.

�Donations are accepted any time.� Chief Investigator Chester said. "It will take a while, and lots of money to make it do what we want. We have one big fund raiser each year, our annual golf tournament which is coming up on April 27. In the past, we benefited from the Alina Tatum concert, but she�s gone off to Nashville and is gone now. We're hoping to organize and get going another fund raiser of some kind in the fall. If anyone has any wheels and tires that�d look good on a Mustang we need the help.�

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