PDT Staff Writer
The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office will be getting 11 new cruisers, after the Scioto County Commissioners okayed the purchase because it does not come from the county’s General Fund. The cruisers are paid for out of the Police Rotary Fund No. 244.
“We actually have the funding in a non-General Fund account, which is generated by these townships,” Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said. “Every three to four years we roll over a new fleet into those townships, because it’s part of the contractual agreement.”
Donini said the life of a police cruiser is approximately three years.
“It’s all in the math. I’ve done this for years, so every fourth year they get a new car in those townships,” Donini said
The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has had a township deputies program in place since 1998, and currently has 11 additional officers patrolling various townships that are not funded through the General Fund, but instead are funded 100 percent through the townships. Currently most of the townships involved in the program have a single deputy on duty eight hours each day; which means that during that time, the deputy is dedicated to that township.
Donini said Porter Township currently has four such deputies and Washington Township has three.
“If the deputy is out there and working in that township, the response time is going to be cut down drastically,” Donini said.
The new cruisers will be Dodge Chargers. The department used to purchase Ford Crown Victoria’s, but stopped making them for one year, resulting in Donini purchasing nine Chargers. Now, by staying with the Charger, parts will be interchangeable. By doing that, the department has saved money in the past.
“Don’t get me wrong. They (Ford) have now manufactured the Ford Taurus in a police package,” Donini said. “But either way we go, whether you buy a Ford Taurus or a Dodge Charger, the equipment you have in your previous vehicle will not work. In other words, the screen, the light bars, everything else.”
Donini said the Ford Taurus was not available in a police package last year when his department purchased the nine Chargers.
“So the only option we had was the Charger, because they quit making the Crown Vics at that time,” Donini said. “But this year we had a choice. This is the first year that the Ford Taurus was available. The only catch is they’re more expensive than the Dodge Charger, considerably more expensive, probably about $2,500 a car more.
“And the reason we’re not bidding this out is because we do have a Dodge dealer here in town now,” Donini said. “The reason we’re not bidding it out is because we’re purchasing it off what is called a State Contract, which has already been accepted by the state of Ohio, and this dealer presented the lowest bid and the state took it. Of course we’re getting it as cheap as we can get it.”
Scioto County Commission Chairman Mike Crabtree said each vehicle is priced at $23,576, for a total cost of $259,336, and will actually be titled in the county’s name and not in the sheriff’s office. That is why Donini had to get permission from the Commissioners to make the purchase.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or firstname.lastname@example.org.