Clark County Sheriff looking to upgrade outdated fleet of squad - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clark County Sheriff looking to upgrade outdated fleet of squad cars

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) - Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel says his fleet of squad cars is failing. Several have more than 200,000 miles and he's hoping for an upgrade.

"It costs more to fix it than what it's worth," he said.

There are more than 60 vehicles in the entire fleet. A third of them have more than 150,000 miles.

One is well over 250,000.

"The majority of our fleet, like I said, is just absolutely worn out," Noel said.

That's why he will soon ask commissioners and the county for another upgrade.

The department got 10 new vehicles in 2014, but even those already have thousands of miles on them.

"Because we are a sheriff's office we're not just patrol,” Noel said. “We're transporting prisoners through different states in the union. When they're picked up and their extradited back on a warrant, we actually go physically drive there to pick them up so they're in custody."

The mobile patrols are basically an office and the officers usually spend their entire shift inside.

The outdated cramped spaces need modifications for new equipment like computers and radios. Some squad cars are so old they still have cassette players.

"Not only are we wearing them out faster mechanically because of the severe duty that's placed on our normal duties, but also the power system as far as the alternator and the battery and the wiring system because we're running different components at the same time."

Sheriff Noel says in the last year and a half they've had to replace three engines and three transmissions because of high mileage. In fact, the oldest vehicle, from 1996, had its engine replaced twice.

"We're forced with the decision - do I put in a $1,200 transmission in a vehicle that if we sell it for a scrap value or even if it had a good transmission it's worth $500 to $1,000?”

Noel is hoping to get on some sort of replacement schedule through the county.

"Whether it's five to 10 vehicles a year to refresh it … because you know in the long run I don't want to keep putting motors and engines in these vehicles when it costs more to fix them than what they're worth."

Sheriff Noel does not have a vehicle budget, but says he will ask for some upgrades in March when he meets with commissioners and the judge.

Here's a breakdown of some vehicle stats within the Clark County Sheriff's Office:

- 15 cars that are 10 years old

- 20 cars with over 150,000 miles

- Seven cars with over 200,000 miles

- One car with over 250,000

- Average marked police year is 2009

- Average unmarked police yea is 2007

- Average administrative year is 2004

- Average transport average year is 2003

- Average year for fleet of 65 police vehicles is 2007

- Oldest vehicle is from 1996

- Five cars were donated by Jeffersonville City Police

- One car donated by an Indiana Sheriff's office following tornado

- Three cars purchased that were Floyd County Trade-ins

- Two cars purchased from Sellersburg Police Department

- Replaced three engines in the last 18 months due to failure from high mileage

- Replaced three transmissions in last 18 months due to failure from high mileage

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