Commission approves purchase of six vehicles for Carter County Sheriff’s Office

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

BY ROBERT SORRELL
Star Correspondent
The Carter County Commission has given the Sheriff’s Office permission to purchase six used vehicles.
On Monday, commissioners approved two resolutions from the Carter County Budget Committee to purchase used vehicles for the department.
One resolution, presented by Commissioner Robert “Bob” Acuff, allows the department to purchase five vehicles from Chicago Motors for $136,000. Funds will come from the inmate telephone contract reserve account at the jail.
Capt. Keith Range said the department has not had enough vehicles to use at the Sheriff’s Office.
“We are in dire need of vehicles,” Range said. “Buying a new vehicle is not an option.”
Range said if the department were to buy a new vehicle, it might not arrive until 2025 and cost substantially more than a used vehicle.
The county has obtained five Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs from 2015-2021, and is waiting to get them outfitted, he said. The vehicles need lights, stripes and other equipment, he said.
Chicago Motors specializes in “quality pre-owned police and government” vehicles, according to its website.
“I can’t express how much this helps us over there,” Range said. “This relieves a lot of stress that we’re under.”
The new vehicles will be used by the school resources officer program.
Five new vehicles could cost about $400,000, which means the county is saving money, Range said.
In addition, the commission approved a resolution to purchase a 2018 Ford Explorer that is fully outfitted with proper police equipment for $26,000. Range said a new vehicle would cost $44,000 to $46,000.
Range said each of the vehicles are in excellent shape.
In other sheriff’s office news, the county has reached an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service to house federal inmates at the county jail. As a result, Sheriff Mike Fraley said the county will make $925,000 a year to house the inmates.
The county has not housed federal inmates in a few years due to the jail previously being understaffed. Fraley has been able to staff the jail since the county commission raised salaries for officers.
Fraley said it typically takes three to four years to negotiate a deal, but it took about 14 months.

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