Before you speed or commit a crime, be careful even if you don’t see any sheriff’s cars around – you might be under supervision from one of the four undercover cars that are part of a batch of new cars the department is hoping to purchase.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners will decide the matter at the board’s Thursday, Feb. 23 meeting.

These vehicles are being bought “to replace aging vehicles with high mileage and vehicles damaged in accidents in the Sheriff’s Office fleet.”

The money for the purpose was put in the county’s 2022-2023 budget, however, the price of cars has turned out to be higher than expected in this year, so the money won’t go as far as the department hoped.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is asking the board to approve the four undercover vehicles along with nine pursuit-ready Dodge Chargers with all-wheel-drive, one Chrysler 300 and two Chevrolet Tahoes.

The undercover vehicles are going to be used cars that will be purchased from local dealerships.  Those four are expected to cost $160,000 in total. If you’re a criminal who would like to learn what undercover cars the department will be using, you can make a public records request after the department buys the cars and they will have to tell you exactly what cars they bought.  That way you could be on the lookout for those vehicles.  On the other hand, after this article is published, making that public records request will probably put you on the Sheriff’s Department radar.

The nine Dodge Chargers and the Chrysler 300, which will cost a total of just under $395,000, will be purchased from a dealership in Clinton, North Carolina.  The purchase will be made in accordance with prices that have been negotiated as part of a state contract for cars.  The prices are better than those found on the open market because of the mass number of cars the state and other participating governments purchase on the same contract.

The two Chevrolet Tahoes will be bought from Modern Chevrolet in Winston-Salem, for an estimated $105,000, under a NC Sheriff’s Association contract.

According to information from the Sheriff’s Department Tahoes are in “very high demand” right now, so the Tahoes have to be purchased through a vendor allocation method – which means the exact price won’t be known until then.

This isn’t the first mass Sheriff’s Department vehicle purchase in the current fiscal year.  The  county funded just over $2 million in the budget to replace 50 pursuit-approved vehicles, and, in August of last year, the board approved a purchase of 27 new Dodge Chargers for $1,295,468. That price tag included the cost of upfitting those vehicles with law enforcement lights and gear.

According to information the department provided the commissioners, “The costs for those vehicles were higher than expected, reducing the number of vehicles Law Enforcement expected to purchase in [fiscal year 2022-2023] from 50 vehicles to 43 vehicles. This purchase will utilize the remaining budgeted funds of $730,532 and result in a total of 43 vehicles purchased.”