Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Switches Cruisers
By Laura Arenschield
The Winchester Star
Some Frederick County Sheriff’s Office vehicles will have a different look from the standard Ford Crown
Victorias when all 10 2004 Dodge Intrepids the office has purchased arrive at the station.
Two of the new vehicles already have come in, outfitted with blue and white strobe bar lights across the top
and strobe lights in the front and back for safety.
The department ordered the vehicles in June.
“We expect [the rest] to filter in over the next few weeks,” said
Frederick County Sheriff Robert T. Williamson.
Williamson said the office purchased the Dodges instead of
Fords because they were cheaper.
Each Intrepid, with law enforcement options, cost the office
$17,180, Williamson said.
Ford Crown Victorias cost $20,766 each, he said, for a total
savings of about $3,500 per car.
“We’re trying to get the most bang for our buck,” Williamson
said last week.
Williamson said the Frederick County Finance Committee
directed his department to replace one-third of the vehicles in the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office’s
92-vehicle fleet each year, but that funds have not been available to do so since the 2002 fiscal year.
The new Intrepids were purchased with county money from last year’s fiscal budget and will replace nine of
the department’s current vehicles, Williamson said.
“We held off to see what this year’s budget would be like,” Williamson said.
The Intrepids are smaller than the Crown Victorias, and have a smaller engine — a V-6 instead of the Crown
Victoria’s V-8 — but Frederick County Sheriff’s Capt. Clyde Van Meter, who handles purchasing vehicles
for the department, said the Dodges are faster than the Fords.
Van Meter said law enforcement officers used to purchase Chrysler vehicles in the late 1970s and early
1980s, before Chrysler stopped producing them.