Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch is proposing to upgrade his department’s fleet while saving money by having cars refurbished rather than replaced.
Couch will outline the initiative to the Board of Commissioners at today’s work session.
“It’s a program I first learned about last summer, where Ford Motor Co. and some of the dealerships with Ford will take the Crown Victoria and they will refurbish the car from bumper to bumper: the worn parts, the drive train, the transmission, the interior,” he said.
The car is “basically new again,” he said, at half the price.
“It’s usually around $13,000 to $14,000 per vehicle, and a three-year warranty, just like a new car. It’s basically new again,” he said. “It saves the cost of emergency lights, cages, all the other equipment, instead of purchasing a new car, which is around $28,000.”
Not to mention the environmental benefits, he added.
“We as a society we recycle everything; why not recycle cars as well?” he asked.
Couch said he’s heard success stories on the program from other agencies.
“I’m excited about the program. From all accounts of other agencies, it’s been very successful,” he said. “As leaders, we need to look at new avenues to save money.”
And vehicle upgrades are a definite point of need for the office, he said.
“We’ve got to a point with the Sheriff’s Office with our vehicles where we have to look at replacing or repairing them in order to have them in service,” he said. “We need to look at new and different ways to stretch them.”
The cars run like new, look new and even smell new, he said.
“They do everything cosmetically as well. They completely repaint the car, so when you get it back, it’s new again.
I’ve heard it even smells new again — that ‘new car’ smell,” he said.
Initially, Couch said, the office would test the program with a few cars.
“It is something I’d like to really explore to see if it can be success,” he said.