GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Sheriff’s Office recently purchased two new Ford Explorer Police Interceptor 2017 SUVs as part of efforts to keep up with the ongoing needs of deputies and aging vehicles.
”Every year we try to replace at least a couple (cruisers),” said Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin. “We’ve done a study for what a (proper) rotation for an agency our size and the amount of miles we’re traveling is. We want to get on a rotation to decrease maintenance costs. Obviously, as cars age they start having problems. We’ve got a few cars in our fleet that are in excess or close to having 200,000 miles (on them). With a vehicle like that you can face many difficulties including maintenance, safety and efficiency.”
Champlin said by doing the study and working with Gallia Commissioners they would ideally like to replace vehicles every year, dependent on what budget constraints are.
“The commissioners are working diligently with us to put us all in a situation that’s best and economical for the county,” said Champlin.
According to Gallia Sheriff’s Office Chief of Deputies Troy Johnson, it is not uncommon to put over 30,000 miles on a police cruiser in a year traveling about Gallia as a deputy. Each vehicle cost a little over $26,000 based on state bid prices. Johnson claims a little over half of all police agencies in North America employ some use of the SUV model.
According to Ford’s website, the engine in the SUVs are considered 3.7L V6 and come standard with the vehicles. Engines deliver 279 lb.-ft. of torque and feature twin independent variable camshaft timing. The SUVs also feature all-wheel drive. Johnson said that due to some of the more rugged terrain in the more remote reaches of the county that this was a well-liked feature by the sheriff’s office.
If the sheriff’s office gets its way next year, Johnson said the office would likely concentrate on replacing some of the police cars with Ford Interceptor sedans.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.