Commissioners’ $185k gets sheriff 5 new cars

Published 2:33 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Half of fleet over 100k miles

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has ordered five new vehicles after commissioners took $185,000 out of the county’s fund balance to get the fleet up to date.

The sheriff’s office ordered two Ford SUV Interceptors from Stott’s Ford and three Dodge Chargers from Golf Dodge last week.

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The new board of commissioners was sworn into office on Dec. 3 and one of their first decisions was to grant the sheriff $185,000 to purchase needed vehicles. The sheriff’s has a total of 31 vehicles in its fleet and as of October over half of those vehicles had over 100,000 miles on them.

Capt. Mike Wheeler said once a patrol vehicle has 100,000 miles it ends up costing more in maintenance and breakdowns begin occurring.

The last vehicles the sheriff’s office received were two Ford Police Interceptors earlier this year and last year the sheriff’s office received three Ford Crown Victorias, all of which now have approximately 40,000 miles on them.

As of October, the sheriff’s fleet included five 2006 Crown Victorias with 118,803 miles, 123,789 miles, 126,871 miles, 131,392 miles and 132,460 miles. A 2007 Crown Victoria had 118,722 in October, two 2008 Crown Victorias had 105,984 and 113,700 and a 2009 Crown Victoria had 104,361, according to sheriff records. Other vehicles with high mileage include a 2006 Ford Ranger with 113,538 miles and a 1998 Ford F150 with 142,680 miles.

Looking ahead, there are also four 2010 Crown Victorias, which will soon reach 100,000 as well as other vehicles, a total of 16 in the fleet, with over 100,000 miles already on them.

The sheriff’s office patrols an average of 4,000 and 6,000 miles per week.

During the Dec. 3 meeting, re-elected commissioner Tom Pack motioned to give the sheriff $185,000 out of available fund balance to purchase new vehicles. Pack said there were several cars over 100,000 miles and the county needs to get sheriff vehicles on a regular replacement rotation every budget year. Other commissioners agreed and the motion was approved unanimously.

The county decided to allow Sheriff Donald Hill to take the lump sum of money and purchase what he needed. Previous boards of commissioners had the sheriff work with the county manager and the manager would make the purchases.

Wheeler said it will probably take two to three years to get vehicles replaced as needed but with a regular rotation every year the fleet should be in good shape.

A lieutenant and a sergeant will drive the two Ford Explorers and deputies will drive the new chargers. All vehicles will be black in color with the chargers being striped. Wheeler said the sheriff’s office may stripe one explorer that will be driven by the sergeant due to the officer being on patrol.

The total cost for the five new vehicles is not yet known due to costs to equip the vehicles. Wheeler said a road ready Ford SUV Interceptor is approximately $28,000 and a Dodge Charger is approximately $25,500.

When the sheriff’s office retires a vehicle the county normally tries to utilize it in another department or sell them on The money from the sale of a sheriff’s vehicle goes towards the Polk County School system, Wheeler said.

The vehicles are scheduled to be complete in eight to 10 weeks.

Stott’s Ford will continue to maintain all the sheriff’s vehicles, Wheeler said.