County approves purchase of 14 new Sheriff’s Office vehicles

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office will get some new wheels.

Fourteen vehicles worth of new wheels to be exact, 14 Chevy Tahoes to replace the aging Crown Victoria fleet.

The vehicles are a good start, considering the 60 vehicles currently in need of replacement in the BCSO’s fleet, according to BCSO Captain Ric Ollic.

“These 14 Chevy Tahoes cover about a quarter of the vehicles,” Ollic said. “These will replace the oldest Crown Vics in our fleet.”

The total cost of the 14 SUVs totals $477,739.92, most of which will come from the county’s Capital Improvement Fund.

“There is a minimal shortage in the Capital Improvement Fund of about 2,000 dollars, so the remaining balance with come from the fund balance,” said finance committee chairman Tim Callanan.

Callanan reiterated that the proceeds generated by the sale of all county surplus equipment will go into the Capital Improvement Fund.

“The plan is not to drive these vehicles into the ground, but to drive them for a period of time then sell them on the secondary market,” he said. “We don’t just buy vehicles when they’re needed. We get into the habit of replacing the vehicles after a period of time, rotating the vehicles out of the fleet.

“These Tahoes retain their resale value very well in the secondary market. This way we get some return value for the Tahoe.”

Callanan also said nationwide studies showed the Tahoe to be a more efficient vehicle than the Crown Victoria.

“The Tahoe is enormous and one would think is less efficient than a Crown Vic but in reality it’s the more efficient vehicle,” he said.

Also, the officers also like the high profile of the Chevy Tahoe, Ollic said.

“They are more fuel-efficient than the Crown Vic,” Ollic said. “Plus the Tahoe’s high profile is an advantage being that we are rural ... the undercarriage is protected.”

Members of council agreed with the new vehicle replacement policy.

“I think it’s a good start that we’re going in the vehicle replacement direction as a general policy,” said councilman Dennis Fish.

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