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Sheriff requests funding from Pott. County Commissioners for new vehicles

Elisabeth Slay

Pottawatomie County Sheriff' Mike Booth requested just over $400,000 in funding Monday from Pottawatomie County Commissioners to purchase new vehicles for the sheriff's office.

According to Booth, the Sheriff's Office is in dire of need of eight new pickups to replace its 2013 Ford pickups, as well as one new transport vehicle, a new vehicle for Undersheriff Travis Palmer as well as a K-9 vehicle for Deputy Jared Strand and dog, Onyx.

"The proposal that I am going to ask for is the total cost with the vehicles plus equipping the vehicles with the emergency equipment," Booth said. "If we can get the money to the purchase those vehicles and the emergency lighting equipment and if you would be partners with us and you paid half and we paid back our half in those annual installments the way we have."

Booth told commissioners that vehicles they currently have consistently need mechanical work and have high mileage, so the Sheriff's Office is spending more money than the vehicles are worth to just get them running.

In addition to purchasing vehicles, they would need to be equipped for law enforcement purposes.

"We're looking at $2,900 for each unit plus $9,035 for all the equipment for each vehicle," Booth said. "We're asking for eight pickups and three Dodge Durangos."

According to Booth, Palmer's current vehicle was bought used and has numerous problems, as has been in the mechanical shop several times and he's even been without a vehicle.

Booth also said the office needs a new transport vehicle which would cost less than the other vehicles because it doesn't need the emergency light equipment added.

According to Strand, his new K-9 vehicle will cost a little more than the others because in addition to emergency lights and equipment, it also needs special equipment to transport the office's search and seize dog, Onyx.

However, the Sheriff's Office is only requesting that the county pay for the actual vehicle and the emergency lighting equipment while the office will use other funds for the special K-9 equipment.

"There's going to be a possible additional three to six thousand dollars for a K-9 cage, heat alarm, door popper and stuff like that that we're going to pay for out of a Poker Run that we do every year," Strand said.

Booth said the Sheriff's Office is requesting a total of $410,856.29 from the county to purchase the 11 new vehicles.

Palmer said the Sheriff's Office is accepting a local bid for all the vehicles from Joe Cooper Dodge located in Shawnee.

Booth said the Sheriff's Office needs these vehicles not only to keep the county safe, but also its law enforcement.

“We're not talking about just being able to respond. We're talking about these guy's safety and their lives and that of the public too," Booth said.

Booth and commissioners discussed the funding at Monday's meeting, but the item will be placed on the meeting agenda for consideration on Monday, March 16.