One of a half dozen new Chevrolet pickups purchased by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was unveiled at the Business Showcase on Thursday.
The pickup is the first to join the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office patrol fleet, according to Capt. David Aymami.
Pickups, like those currently in use by the Nevada Highway Patrol, cost less than either patrol cars or the Tahoe sport utility vehicles, are more durable and more flexible, Aymami said.
The first pickup arrived on Tuesday, just in time for the showcase, which typically features one of the sheriff’s office’s speciality vehicles.
Aymami said the trucks are $2,000 cheaper than sedans and about $9,000 less than the Tahoes.
“I had to do some research to get the best deal,” he said. “The trucks gave us the most value for our money.”
All of the pickups are four-door vehicles with four-wheel drive, which is more than the two-wheel drive sedans. The pickups will have a cage between the driver’s seat and the back seat where prisoners can ride.
“Now we’ll have the trucks which are better for the terrain, better in the snow, more durable, last longer, and economically a better fit for our use,” he said.
Durability is a big factor because the vehicles are driven around the clock 365 days a year, racking up a lot of miles over the vehicle’s lifetime.
Aymami said all six of the pickups should be done and on the road over the next couple of weeks. He said that the six pickups will replace patrol cars, which will then go to the jail, and down the line.
“Citizen’s Patrol will get a newer old car, and then we get rid of the oldest cars.”
Patrol division deputies are assigned their vehicle, and Aymami said the new pickups will go to those deputies who’ve taken the best care of their pickups.
“They are responsible for their car,” he said. “These will be assigned to the officers who work the hardest and take the best care of their car.”
Having the pickups will decrease response time in bad weather since deputies won’t have to change to a Tahoe.
The big choice Aymami faced was to go with the Fords or the Chevrolets.
“Everyone loves the Fords,” he said. “They go faster. But other agencies said they had more mechanical issues than the Chevys. The Chevys are tough, durable and get better gas mileage.”They have a cage between driver and the back.”
He also chose the rolling cover as opposed to the pop-up solid cover used by the Nevada Highway Patrol.
“It’s better if you have to transport a bicycle, or motorcycle, the roll-up back area is better,” he said. “There have been situations where an officer tried to stick something in the pickup bed and had to leave the cover up, and it blew off. We priced them and the two covers are the same cost.
There are now about 60 vehicles in the patrol division with eight Tahoes, which have four-wheel drive.
“Hopefully we will have a whole fleet of these trucks,” he said. “As we get more trucks we’ll have fewer Tahoes. We’re just being as fiscally responsible as we can.”