It’s not quite Christmas yet, however, on Thursday, Dec. 9, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners granted a holiday wish of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and approved a purchase order for new patrol cars and other vehicles that the department has had a heck of a time securing in today’s car market. 

The board dealt with the matter in the special meeting that was called quickly so that the department could go ahead and purchase the vehicles before another law enforcement agency swooped down and bought them.

The county commissioners held the Dec. 9 virtual meeting at 6 p.m. and, by 6:15 p.m., the board had conducted its business and adjourned.  In the end, the board approved purchase orders for 29 new law enforcement vehicles at a cost of just over $939,000. 

In June, the county commissioners put the money for new Sheriff’s Department cars and other vehicles in the county’s fiscal 2021-2022 budget.  However, unlike in pre-pandemic years, there was a shortage of the specialized cars on the market, and the team at the Sheriff’s Department had to do some scrambling and make calls to dealerships across the country to find the needed cars.  Even though the Board of Commissioners had approved the money in the budget, the board still needed to approve a purchase order.

Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers attended the online meeting to answer any questions – though it became immediately apparent that the commissioners didn’t need anyone to convince them to buy the cars.  Each year, the department gets some new vehicles to replace the ones that age out.

Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Captain Aldous Heron told the commissioners that the automobiles are driven hard due to constant quick acceleration, chases, sitting and idling for long periods and so on.  He said the department likes to sell off a vehicle once it hits 100,000 miles but lately it’s been using them until they hit 150,000 or 160,000 miles.  Heron said that, after that number of miles, a car becomes a safety concern for officers as well as for the civilians driving on the road.