Independence County Sheriff’s Department to receive a new patrol unit this year

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The city of Batesville announced this week it is replacing high-mileage police department vehicles with five new police units, so we asked the Independence County Sheriff about his department’s vehicles.

Sheriff Shawn Stephens said many of his units have over 150,000 miles on them, some have over 200,000 miles, and one or two have over 300,000 miles on them.

Stephens noted that he is hoping for two new units this year, saying he knows for sure that he will be adding one new vehicle, and if enough money is available through fines and fees, he will probably get another one.

During the last two budgeting cycles, the sheriff says he has cut his budget “to the bone” and there is just no room for more cuts.  The county’s tight budgets do not bode well for keeping good, low mileage units for his deputies to use, Stephens said.

“I do just the best I can with what I have,” the sheriff said.

Trucks and SUVs are proving the best type of vehicle with which to replace the units, according to Stephens. They have been holding up better than the Dodge Chargers his department has been using, and that really helps the maintenance budget, the sheriff said.

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