Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen has the county council’s permission to buy two new patrol cars. Funds for one vehicle will come from from the county’s cumulative capital development fund. The other will be paid for from the commissioners’ EDIT fund. The county has agreed to spend up to $30,000 each on the vehicles, with the rest of the money to come from the sheriff’s commissary account.
Cowen presented a quote from Best Ford for $32,800 per car for Ford vehicles. The dealership also quoted Chevrolet Impala’s for $31,500. The family owns a Chevrolet dealership in Bremen, but if Cowen opts for the Chevy’s they will be delivered through Best Ford in Starke County in order to keep the purchase local. Officials with the sheriff’s department advised they contacted Cambe Chevrolet several times and never got a response, even when they sent a certified letter. The prices include most of the wiring needed for lights and radios but not the equipment itself. Radios will be transferred from the old cars, but the strobe light bars will be replaced with LEDs.
Cowen said the Chevrolet is his first choice if he can get it in white or black to match other cars in the county’s fleet. The council gave him the authority to use his discretion in making the purchase. The new cars will replace two older patrol vehicles with high mileage. They will be passed down to other departments within the county, and the two oldest vehicles in the fleet will be sold off.