Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 27, 2013

Sheriff to get vehicles

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court has approved payment for several new Henderson County Sheriff’s Office vehicles to replace those that have logged many miles in service of the county.

The HCSO vehicles were purchased at a cost of $233,889.95. Included in the purchase were eight Chevrolet Tahoes, that will be used as patrol vehicles, and a truck.

According to the Chevrolet website, the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle is the first SUV designed from its inception as a law-enforcement vehicle. The Tahoe is low enough to the ground to allow superior handling at high speeds. The electrical system is also easier to connect to police equipment, such as light bars and radio.

Maj. Botie Hillhouse said the Tahoe was the best option available for the HCSO this year. Not only are they roomier than most vehicles used in police work, making it easier for officers to get in and out of the vehicle in an emergency situation, they’re also a good deal.

“The Tahoes are priced about the same as the sedans are,” Hillhouse said. “There’s more room in the Tahoe and the Tahoe is getting better gas mileage, so they come out to be the cheaper vehicle.”

The new Tahoes are now being rigged with radios and police equipment needed before they can be put on the street for patrol.

Hillhouse said the Tahoe is the current choice, but they’ll evaluate it again before the HCSO makes future purchases.

“The Tahoes are how we’re leaning right now,” Hillhouse said. “Who knows what will happen if the car prices go down?”

The HCSO 2013 budget includes $450,768 for vehicles and $51,000 for vehicle maintenance. In 2012, the HCSO spent $422,140.48 for vehicles. The figure was $142,902.94 in 2011 and $323,108 in 2010.