• October 28, 2020

Sheriff’s Tahoes’ delivery slowed - Odessa American: Ector County

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Sheriff’s Tahoes’ delivery slowed

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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:02 pm

Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said Tuesday that various factors will delay the arrival of the 27 new Chevrolet Tahoes recently approved for his department in a $2.5-milion allocation by the commissioners court.

“We expect them to be here in about a year after we go through the bid process and get them ordered,” Griffis said. “We got 12 Tahoes from a dealership in Caldwell (in east-central Texas) in early August after ordering them last September. We were supposed to get them in February, but there was COVID-19 and an auto workers’ strike.”

He added that Tahoes “are the most popular police vehicle in the U.S.” because they are roomy, durable and easily adaptable to law enforcement needs.

“When we get these 27, they’ll take care of everybody,” Griffis said, meaning that all of his street deputies will have new vehicles to take home, enabling a quick response to emergencies and enhancing the law enforcement presence in their neighborhoods. “We’re slowly but surely moving all the old ones out of the fleet. We have several with over 200,000 miles.”

Just before going into the 10 a.m. Tuesday commissioners court meeting, the sheriff said the new Tahoes “will be just the raw vehicles.

“The consoles, stripes, cages and shotgun racks will have to be added on with the radios having to be installed and programmed,” he said, adding that the $30,000 to $35,000 per-unit purchase price will increase by $12,000 to $15,000 each with the extra equipment.

“Some of the people we arrest are bigger than others, so we’ll have a bigger vehicle for those individuals. There is a lot of storage room in the back for equipment. The Tahoe is a good all-around vehicle. With the police package, they go a little faster than the stock civilian vehicle. They’re lower to the ground with a heavier suspension to keep from overturning in the corners.”

Asked if his fleet’s upgrade will help with recruitment, Griffis said, “We’re in pretty good shape because we have some applications on hand for two openings for street deputies.

“Taking these vehicles home will be an incentive to keep officers and it’ll be good for the community. It will also help with accountability. Currently, we have four deputies driving one vehicle, so if something gets damaged, unless somebody admits to it, we don’t have accountability.

“We’re ready to get the ball rolling and get everybody in a new unit. I think it will make a big difference in our community and in the morale of our people.”

Odessa, TX

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