The next time you get pulled over by a Guilford County Sheriff’s Department deputy, you might notice that the officer’s ride is a little extra shiny. That’s because the Guilford County Board of Commissioners just approved the purchase – at $1 million and change – of 22 new department vehicles, including pickup trucks, pursuit vehicles and utility vehicles.

If you think you put wear and tear on your family car – well, law enforcement agencies typically do so a lot faster than average because, in that job, there can be a good deal of quick acceleration and sudden stopping – not to mention cornering at high speeds. Also, the vehicles must be highly reliable, so the department and the county like to try to keep the fleet as fresh as limited finances allow.

In the just approved purchase, the county commissioners gave the OK to the acquisition of a Ford F-250 Pickup, a F-150 Pickup, a Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a Dodge Durango pursuit vehicle, four Ford cargo vans and 14 Ford Interceptor Utility all-wheel-drive vehicles.  

The total cost was $1,000,345, with the bulk of that being $692,160 for the 14 Ford Interceptors. Those cost just over $48,000 each.

That $1-million price tag also includes about $50,000 for prisoner transport cells for three vans.

The purchases are being made from Asheville Ford Lincoln, Modern Chevrolet of Winston-Salem, Piedmont Truck Center Inc., Performance Ford of Clinton and Performance Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Clinton.

At a recent staff meeting with several county commissioners, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said this represents the annual purchase of the department’s vehicles for fiscal year 2019-2020,

“All of these are replacement vehicles,” Lawing said.

“A problem is that Dodge has shut down the plant that manufactures the Chargers, so they can’t get Chargers,” he added, “so they are looking at using the Ford Interceptor Utilities, which is an Explorer, basically, instead of that.”

Lawing also said that some of the autos are made to order so those wouldn’t be in service right away.

“Next year’s budget may not include many or any vehicles the way things are looking,” Lawing said.