McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall says the next patrol cars the county buys for his department are going to be more expensive.
Marshall told county commissioners at a budget work session Tuesday night that Ford Motor Co.'s decision to discontinue production of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor means the department must turn to the Chevrolet Caprice, which costs about $6,000 more than the Ford.
The sheriff also said that the cages used in the Fords -- a reference to the wire-mesh barrier between the front and back seats -- will not fit the Chevrolet, so the new cars will have to be outfitted with new cages as well. He did not know how much that would cost.
The sheriff had requested five new vehicles at a cost of $32,000 each. County Manager Don Norton has recommended that the county buy three new vehicles at a total cost of $96,000, and he suggested that the budgeted request be raised to $125,000.
In a telephone interview with The Mirror this afternoon, Marshall said he has not decided on the Chevrolet and still intends to seek bids from all police car manufacturers.
Other requests included $75,625 for the fire department, including $15,000 for protective equipment and $5,625 to replace fire hoses; $190,000 for an asphalt patcher, which Norton has recommended be delayed; and a special $3,000 request from the McDuffie County Human Development Center to pay part-time workers in its summer program.