The Morrow County Sheriff’s office just took receipt of two new SUV units, and they come with more than clear titles.
Morrow County Commissioners have made a commitment to support law enforcement as fully as they can, and it begins with two Ford Interceptors purchased from from Statewide Ford in VanWert, Ohio.
The sheriff’s office has been limping along on high mileage cruisers, with three currently out of commission. Just two vehicles are under 90,000 miles - all others are over that, except the sheriff’s pickup. The new SUVs are replacing two 2005 Crown Victorias that are close to 200,000 miles.
Commissioner Tom Whiston said the new vehicles were paid for out of the general fund from additional funds certified from last year (monies over and above what was certified).
“We’ve committed from the standpoint that as long as we can pay down our bills, we’re going to commit dollars to the sheriff’s office,” Whiston said. “We want people to know we’re going to be committed to this. It’s not just the sheriff’s office but we, as public officials and more importantly - the public - is the one that can really make the difference. We’re done with people stealing catalytic converters, breaking into houses for heroin and those types of things. We need the public’s support with this. The deputies are doing all they can 24/7, and we’re going to make sure we can assist them with equipment and manpower.”
“Normally we lease cars on a 3 or 4 year lease,” said Brenneman, “but they were able to buy them flat-out.”
The Ford Interceptors have a full police package, are pursuit rated and especially built for law enforcement,” the sheriff said. They are fully outfitted and ready to use.
“They are all-wheel drive, which will help us on the back roads,” Brenneman said. “The Crown Victorias have been horrible in snow and even on wet grass. The Chargers are better, but having an AWD vehicle will be best. Everyone who has had these SUVs has loved having them and a lot of agencies are switching over to them.”
The SUVs feature more interior space, rear seat video and bar screens in the prisoner compartment on the door windows and behind the passenger seat.
All in all, Brenneman said they really need eight vehicles.
“Our hope is, from a financial standpoint, we’re going to try to free up the funds for an officer just for drug investigations,” Whiston said. “We’ve had it in the past, and we need to get back to it. We’ve got to cut back on the crime around here. We’re seeing a good, symbiotic relationship with Cardington P.D., Mt. Gilead P.D. and the Sheriff’s Office and we’re going to continue that. You need to know when you come in the county, we’re going to step up enforcement. We’re cracking down and we’re making a conscious effort, and working to eliminate the opportunies (for drug activity).”