January 11, 2006
Despite Graniteville residents’ protests and petitions, the Aiken County Council decided more than $300,000 in state money will be given to the county sheriff’s department. News 12 was the only station on hand Tuesday night as more than fifty angry Graniteville residents turned out to protest the use of the money. It was allocated after last year’s train collision, but there was a disagreement over whether the money should be used to buy new patrol cars for the sheriff’s office.
Now, the sheriff’s office has ordered 37 new cars. As News 12 reports, they’re badly needed.
With scratches on the outside, a scuffed steering wheel on the inside and almost 230,000 miles, it’s safe to say this Aiken County patrol car is worn out.
“Some vehicles get to the point where it’s cheaper to replace them than repair them,” said Michael Frank.
Tuesday night, the county council approved the funds to buy 37 new cars to replace ones like this 1996 Ford. It’s a bigger number than usual, the sheriff’s office typically replaces only a few rides every year.
”These vehicles are genuinely needed,” Frank said.
Officers drive these cars 100-250 miles a day, and that doesn’t just show up on the odometer, it also shows up under the hood. Problems with the ball joints and transmission are common on high mileage vehicles.
Officer Michael Frank says new cars are a matter of safety.
“By having newer vehicles, that allows our deputies to get to the call safely and to respond to the call for service,” Frank said.
The new cars will go to officers throughout Aiken County to keep both them and you safe.
Those new vehicles should be ready in a few months.