Smith County Seal

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office will be getting some much needed vehicle replacements.

The Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved a motion for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase five new vehicles.

County Judge Nathaniel Moran said the county had intended to have a fleet manager hired by now, but the hiring process was taking longer than planned, so the vehicle requisitions needed to go before the court. Sheriff Larry Smith requested funds to purchase six 2018 Chevrolet Tahoes at a cost of $31,920 each to replace vehicles that have exceeded 200,000 miles.

The court approved the funding for five of the vehicles, which will take up $159,600 of the $250,000 set aside for fleet purchases this year.

“The process (of hiring a fleet manager) has been stretching out long enough that I think it’s important we address that now so it doesn’t become a critical need,” Moran said.

Smith said he hopes to be able to retain at least two of the vehicles being replaced as backups.

In-car cameras and radios will be paid for out of the sheriff’s miscellaneous equipment budget at a cost of $5,500 for WatchGuard cameras and $4,000 for radio equipment.

The Sheriff’s Office has about 130 vehicles. Smith said they have purchased about three dozen vehicles over the past few years out of the department’s drug fund, which is now depleted.

The Sheriff’s Office also requested an increase in budget for its annual awards banquet, but the motion failed. The move would have increased the allotment from $5,000 to $7,500.

In Other Business:

The county waived right of way for a portion of County Road 189, .667 miles west of Texas Highway 155 at the request of the property owner.

TWITTER: @TMT_Cory

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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