The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and the Meridian City Police have bought 50 new vehicles in the past 12 months, with money confiscated through drug enforcement.
Only a few years ago, the sheriff was budgeted for just two new police cars a year, but with the increase in drug traffic on the interstate and increased patrols, Sheriff Billy Sollie says times have changed.
"So far in the last 12 months we've purchased 15 Crown Victorias, five of the police package Tahoes, two pickup trucks and three Yukons," said Sollie.
City police recently bought 25 new vehicles as well. Both used confiscated drug money found in vehicles driving through our city and stopped because of suspicions they were carrying drugs.
"In the past 14 months we've seized over $3 million. So far to date we've had over a million dollars awarded to the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department to utilize for law enforcement purposes," the sheriff said.
These are top of the line units. Sollie said his department has not had a reliable fleet of cars until now. Sheriff's deputies average 100,000 to 130,000 miles per year in their squad cars. They are allowed to take their cars home.
Next on the sheriff's wish list is in-car computers, and he says he has the money in the budget.