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New CCSO road patrol cars to replace aging fleet

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office has bought 10 new vehicles for deputies assigned to its road patrol division.

“The new cars were purchased with money in the Colleton County general fund, as allocated to the sheriff’s office for the current fiscal year by Colleton County Council. The old vehicles will be sold at auction, with that money going back into the Colleton County general fund,” said Shalane Lowes, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

According to information provided by both Lowes and Vehicle – Supply Lt. George Rioux, with the sheriff’s office, the new vehicles are 2019 Dodge Chargers, with a V8 5.7 Hemi engine. Each new vehicle has dual radar, in the front and in the rear of the patrol vehicle.

“Our fleet is aging and we have aging fleet cars on the road responding to calls,” said Rioux, in a written statement.

Additionally, Rioux says that quite a few of the now-retired sheriff’s office cars have “well over 215,000 miles on them.”

“Most of these cars are over 10 years old,” he said. “The cost to maintain these cars is a burden to the county.”

In addition to having dual radar systems, the new road patrol vehicles also have chargers in place to keep body cameras functioning; gun mounts in the front of the vehicles; and seatbelt clicks in the back of the driver and passenger front seats, which improves officer safety.

The new cars also each have an installed license scanner so that deputies can scan all driver’s licenses and registration, which allow for the production of on-site electronic traffic tickets.

Additionally, the cars have “hard plastic, one-piece seats” in the back, which is designed to prevent any contraband from being stuffed in or underneath the seats by suspects.

The new cars were issued to deputies earlier this week. The new cars were assigned to deputies based on their specific job assignment and needs for the specific patrol teams.

Deputies at the sheriff’s office have been wearing body cameras for some time. However, the 10 new vehicles have additional features that support the use of body cameras: these new cars have installed audio systems that are tied to the body cameras. This means that the audio portion of the body cameras can be used, without the deputy having to wear an additional microphone for the patrol car camera. “Deputies carry approximately 25 pounds in tactical gear as it is, any little thing that can be condensed to help the officer lighten the load is a huge plus” said Lowes.

According to her, the new cars also have an additional Watchguard camera system installed in the rear of the car. This camera is initiated when the vehicle cranks, and the camera stays on for as long as the vehicle is on, she said. “The purchase of these vehicles not only vastly improves officer safety with state of the art technology, it also improves morale among our deputies to know that we try to do everything we can to take care of them.” Said R.A. Strickland. There are no immediate plans to purchase any additional cars.

Heather Walters (1492 Posts)