UNION COUNTY — The installation of in-car computers would allow deputies to fill out their reports in the field, allowing them to spend more time on patrol, save wear and tear on their vehicles, and reduce overtime costs according to Union County Sheriff David Taylor.
In an address to Union County Council during a budget session Tuesday evening, Taylor asked council to allocate funds for the purchase of five new vehicles for his office and the purchase of 16 in-car computers.
Taylor said the cars are needed to replace those in both the patrol and investigative divisions that have well in excess of 100,000 miles on them.
“We’ve got five cars that need replacing because they outlived their useful life,” Taylor said. “Some of them have as much as 140,000 miles on them and none of them have less than 120,000 miles.”
Taylor said the mileage on the cars is due to the increased number of calls deputies have been responding to in recent years.
“We’ve had a 77 percent increase in arrests since 2009,” Taylor said. “In 2013 we arrested 1,000 more people than we did in 2012. We also answered about 1,400 more calls in 2013 than we did in 2012.”
Taylor said the new cars would cost $30,000 each or a total of $150,000.
As he did in 2013, Taylor again asked council for in-car computers for his office’s patrol vehicles. He said the in-car computers would enable deputies to stay out in the field more and help reduce manpower and vehicle maintenance costs.
“Right now when a deputy responds to a call he has to come in to the station and fill out the report,” Taylor said. “Often they have to do this at the end of the shift. If they have a busy night they could have four or five reports to do at the change of shift and that can push them into overtime.
“If we had the in-car computers a deputy would be able to fill out the report in the field,” he said. “This would keep deputies in the field more, reduce the chances of overtime, and reduce wear and tear on their cars.”
Taylor said the 16 in-car computers and related equipment would cost a total of $69,000.