Sheriff's Department getting new vehicles

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Master Sgt. Carl Cosper Jr., with the Barry County Sheriff's Department, uses the console radio in one of the new Ford Explorers the department recently purchased to replace its worn out vehicles. The SUVs are all-wheel drive, making it easier to get around in rough terrain and snow, as well as provide more space. Kayla Monahan/

Department bought 5 new cars in 2013, will get 5 more this year

The Barry County Sheriff's Department is in the midst of updating its vehicle fleet.

Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff, said the department bought five vehicles last year, is expecting two more in early March, and will likely get another three before the end of 2014.

"This means we now have the tools to go to work," Epperly said. "These are the tools of our trade, and when you have that many high-mileage vehicles, it can be a problem if they break down."

Last year, the department spent about $125,000 on a Ford Taurus, Dodge Charger and three Ford Explorers, all 2013 models. The department will get two more Ford Explorers, 2014 models, at the beginning of March, and Epperly said three more vehicle purchases are on the budget for later in the year. He said the department would likely spend about another $125,000 this year.

The new cars are replacing 2003 and 2007 models, each of which was pushing 200,000 miles.

"We still have some vehicles with high mileage, but we're trying to phase this out when we can," he said.

Epperly said the old vehicles are stripped of their lighting and decals, then auctioned off through Terry's Auto Auctions of Granby. He also said the new vehicles will feature a different stripe package.

"We are putting the new stripe packages on the vehicles so people will see when there are deputies in the area," he said. "We hope they are more visible."

All of the new vehicles are locally-purchased from Les Jacobs Ford and from Country Dodge, both in Cassville. Money made from the auctioning of old vehicles, some of which fetch up to $2,000, goes back into the Barry County general revenue fund.

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