Keeping Up With The Perots?

Vescovo responds to editor’s challenge by donating a boat to Dallas Police

Talk about pricey presents. Ross Perot Jr. donated a helicopter to the Dallas Police Department in December. 

Now the department has a 2019 Protector Targa 310 boat courtesy of another wealthy and competitive Dallasite.

In June, the Dallas City Council officially accepted the gift from St. Mark’s School of Texas alumnus Victor Vescovo, co-founder of the private equity firm Insight Equity.

“I was prompted to do that because there was a tongue-in-cheek article by the editor of D Magazine who called me out and said, ‘Hey, Ross Perot donated a helicopter, why don’t you donate a submarine?’” Vescovo said. “Well, I have a submarine, but I’m using it — I thought a boat would be more useful, and it was something I had available.”

Vescovo, a noted explorer and likely the first person to have descended to the bottom of the ocean, climbed Mount Everest, and rocketed to space, was ready to replace the boat. 

It had served such purposes as patrolling the ocean surface and errands back to shore during deep-sea exploration aboard a larger research vessel, Vescovo said. “I decided since I didn’t have any other use for it, why not spend a little bit of money and refurbish the vessel and donate it to the Dallas Police Department?” 

But giving such an extravagant gift isn’t so easy.

When Vescovo initially reached out about donating the $250,000 boat, department leaders thought it may have been some sort of scam.

“It took several efforts until they realized that we were serious,” Vescovo said.

The boat will now cruise Lake Ray Hubbard, which has a depth of about 40 feet.

Police department spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez described the gift as a generous one that would benefit officers assigned to the lake, which the department has patrolled since 1972.

“It will be used for service calls that come out on the lake,” she said. “The service calls could be enforcement related, water rescues, and water searches. It would also allow us to assist Dallas Fire-Rescue when they need assistance on the lake.”

Maybe the department should also thank D Magazine. 

Perhaps someone should ask Mark Cuban, “What have you got that could help Dallas officers next?”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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