Victoria Sheriff's Office adding used cars to patrol fleet

Sonny Long

Feb. 14, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 13, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.

The Victoria County Sheriff's Department is adding four vehicles to its fleet of patrol cars, but they aren't exactly new.

On Monday, the Victoria County Commissioners Court approved spending up to $30,000 to purchase four vehicles from the Texas Department of Public Safety surplus service vehicles fleet.

With no funds in the 2011 budget to buy new cars, Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor told commissioners he knows buying used vehicles isn't the ideal scenario.

"I don't advocate buying these every year, but we've lost a couple of vehicles this year," said the sheriff. "We're getting very thin. We've got two cars on patrol now with more than 200,000 miles."

An insurance payment of $6,500 will be applied to the $30,000 allocated for the purchase of the two 2006 Ford Crown Victorias, a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. All have at least 100,000 miles on them.

"I know we're taking chances that we may be buying vehicles that may continue to give us issues because of their mileage," said O'Connor. "Under the circumstances, it's worth the investment. We can still get some pretty good mileage out of them in the interim until we get back on track to purchase new vehicles."

Another advantage that is allowing the sheriff's office to keep the cost down is that much of the equipment from the wrecked vehicles can be transferred to the ones being purchased.

"We specifically went and looked for the make and model of cars we lost," said O'Connor.

During the last several years, the commissioners court has approved purchase of seven vehicles for the sheriff's office every other year. Most recently that schedule increased to purchase seven each year, County Judge Don Pozzi told commissioners, giving the decision some historical context.

"Hard times hit, obviously, and in the 2011 budget, we are not going to be able to furnish seven new vehicles," said Pozzi. "In my opinion, it would be hard to pass up four vehicles and get them patrol ready for $30,000 or less."



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