County grants sheriff office’s request for new pursuit vehicles

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday a request from the sheriff’s office to budget funds for seven new vehicles for its deputies.

The sheriff’s department currently has 31 Chargers in its fleet, but due to the constant use, the vehicles are in often need of repairs, some of which range to thousands. The request included five Ford Explorer Intercepters to be used as pursuit vehicles and two new KIA Tellurides to be purposed for the Troup County Marshal’s Office and Troup County Sheriff’s Office as non-pursuit vehicles.

“The more serious issues [of the vehicles] would be the front ends. The front ends are about a $1,000 repair, and when they go out, everything else just goes,” explained Glenn Downs, supervisor for the Troup County Shop where county vehicles are maintained. “We had a couple of transmission failures, which are about a $4,000 repair. The motors camshafts are wearing out … which can be as much as a $5,000 repair for the engine itself.”

Other repairs include rotor repairs from brake wearing, typically an $800 repair, transmission repairs, headlight repairs and coolant hoses repairs.

Downs said some of the vehicle issues may ultimately be preventable, or at least wouldn’t occur too often.

“If we can reduce some of the idle time, in terms of spending less time on the road, we can save [money,]” he said.

The majority of the Chargers date between 2016 and 2019. Each vehicle has an estimated 113,000 average miles, 3.5 million miles combined, but has only a 100,000-mile warranty, Downs said. At least one Charger in the fleet has 200,000 miles on it.

The purchase of the five Ford Explorer Interceptors for the sheriff’s office will come from the county’s Capital Fund and will cost approximately $38,000 per unit.

TCSO Major Keith Flory said the sheriff’s office had previously requested five new vehicles on top of this recent request. Four are currently in use and the sheriff’s office is requesting the arrival of its final vehicle. Upon the arrival of the new Chargers, the older vehicles will be moved to different departments that won’t drive them as often.

Each vehicle would still require warning lights, sirens, radios and lettering which would be installed upon delivery.

The purchase of the two KIA Tellurides would come from SPLOST V and would cost approximately $34,000 per unit. 

The Tellurides were acquired in partnership with KIA Factory Representatives at well below the actual cost, County Manager Eric Mosley said.

“By moving forward now, we’re saving about $3,000 to $4,000 a car,” he said. “We’ve been working with Way Ford directly […] who have informed us directly that after July, the pricing will go up $3,000 to $4,000 per vehicle.”