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Sheriff may get new cruisers

Sheriff Tim Sexton and Lawrence County’s commissioners began discussions last week about purchasing new cruisers.

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Sheriff Tim Sexton and Lawrence County’s commissioners began discussions last week about purchasing new cruisers.

The county board took no official action, but indicated the sheriff’s department might find three new cars in its parking lot this year.

"What’s reasonable and what’s needed are five new cruisers," Sexton told commissioners Thursday.

Some sheriff’s cars have 160,000 miles on them and face frequent repairs, he said.

Those repair costs would almost pay for a roughly $7,000 per-year, per-vehicle lease from either Ford or Chevy at state-bid prices, he added.

Leasing new vehicles means a better investment than used cars that usually have about 80,000 miles on them already. Plus, once the three-year lease ends, they can be bought for $1 and either sold or put into extended use, the sheriff said.

Sexton also suggested buying a 100,000-mile warranty so the department is not forced into spending money on repairs after 30,000 miles.

You can get one for about $2,100 for power train only, he said.

"Compared to what we’ve been putting into them, we would be better off buying an extended warranty."

The repair costs would almost pay for the lease, although exact figures for both and the warranties are not yet known, he added.

Commissioners agreed with the department’s need, but said they would like to see the department on a program where two cars are bought each year as replacements.

"Let’s think of three this year and two the next, and after that two per year," commission president Paul Herrell said.

The idea is to plan ahead, commissioner Jason Stephens said.

Law enforcement vehicles will wear out and need to be replaced, he said.

"With the budget the way it is, we need to plan ahead exactly how many to buy two, three, four years down the road," Stephens said.

Sexton said he will present a proposal in writing, likely including a four-year plan.

In February 1999, the department reported to commissioners that three deputy cruisers were out of service and several others were building up high mileage.

Commissioners later bought three new cruisers as replacements.