Sheriff asks supervisors to buy new patrol cars
MAKING REPAIRS – Johnny Dearman, a mechanic with Lauderdale County, works on one of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department patrol cars. Department officials say they need new cars to replace aging, high-mileage vehicles. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Sept. 4, 2002
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie asked county supervisors Tuesday for $200,000 to buy 10, new Ford Crown Victorias for deputies to use as patrol cars.
But supervisors, who are working on the county budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, agreed to spend $80,000 enough for four cars that cost $20,000 to $22,000 each.
Sollie was one of several department heads who have discussed county finances with supervisors in the past two weeks. Supervisors are expected to approve a new budget by Sept. 19.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department has 32 patrol cars.
Maj. Ward Calhoun, the department spokesman, said all are at least five years old and have more than 100,000 miles. Two cars are 1993 Fords with more than 230,000 miles each.
Calhoun said the sheriff's department plans to purchase cars through the state to negotiate a better price. He said the department wants to buy Ford Crown Victorias.
Sollie said that, ideally, each of the department's 43 sheriff's deputies should have their own car. Deputies keep all of their gear and equipment in the car, Sollie said.