ADA — The Ada Police Department/Village is giving out a couple early Christmas gifts this year. And one that definitely wouldn’t fit under a tree (unless, of course, it was a sequoia).

Chief Santa (aka Chief Michael Harnishfeger) proposed to village council recently that the village give the Department’s Ford Crown Victoria squad car, which was being retired, to Rhodes State College Police Academy for training their cadets – instead of selling it on And the chief is looking at it not just as a gift, but as an investment. That is, he explained in a follow up interview after the meeting, that over the years the department has had a “good relationship” with Rhodes, including employing a number of graduates.

One of those graduates is current Ada police officer Penny Keller-Clark, who is also an adjunct professor at the Rhodes Academy. The chief explained that Rhodes has a basic Police Academy that takes a year to complete. The college also has a two-year associates degree in criminal justice, if a cadet wants to get more in-depth.

In fact, Chief Harnishfeger attended the Academy himself. He graduated back in the 1980s when it was called Lima Tech – and when “Miami Vice” was a popular cop show. Remember that?

The chief added that the Academy, on a regular basis, also provides interns for the Department.

After hearing the chief’s rationale, the council voted to donate the squad car to the Academy, as they voted to donate the “canine equipment,” (the department’s canine “Oakley” is retiring as well) to the Hardin County’s Sheriff’s Department.

These items include an in-car dog cage – that, it’s reported, Oakley never really liked anyhow — drug detection training equipment, leads, collars, dog bowls…

As with the Academy, the Sheriff’s Department’s Canine Program will be available to benefit the village of Ada as well.