Tuesday morning I woke up to Barclay Bishop telling Channel 6 viewers that the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office needed donations to help cover the cost of replacing worn out safety gear for their 10-dog K-9 Unit.
Police puppies in peril… oh my!
Fourteen hundred dollars a piece for 10 little kevlar doggie vests, and 10 cooling vests, and assorted emergency trauma supplies for a grand total of just under 19 grand.
Didn’t I just hear about Sheriff Richard Roundtree spending 60 grand in confiscated drug/thug money to get a brand new shiny Chevy Tahoe? (Actually, I did not, but more about that in a minute.) That confiscated bad guy dough is awesome. But by law it cannot go for police salaries in any way, shape or form. The recovered loot can go to buy stuff or build things, though. Stuff like K-9 safety equipment.
Someone decided that new rides for the new sheriff (and his top two guys) took precedence over the Pooch Patrol, and that someone (Roundtree) asked outgoing Sheriff Ronnie Strength to order three new cars. Professional courtesy demanded he comply.
Sheriff Roundtree, and new Chief Deputy Pat Clayton took delivery at a total cost of 60 grand for both Tahoes. (New RCSD Colonel Robert Partain decided to pass on the new wheels.)
Here comes the goof. I reported on the air, and posted on my Austin Rhodes Show Facebook page, that the sheriff’s SUV alone cost 60k. An outrageous sum to spend on one man’s ride, under normal conditions at taxpayer expense, most would agree.
Here is part of the note I got from Chief Clayton Tuesday night:
“While the Sheriff has chosen not to engage with you, I feel compelled to correct a few errors with your information. Information that you have been reporting for some time that was not vetted. Specifically, Sheriff Strength purchased two Chevrolet Tahoes for the Sheriff and I. My Tahoe was $25,000 and the Sheriff Roundtree’s was about $35,000. This is $25,000 less than the $60,000 you’ve been reporting.”
As I stated before, I goofed. I apologize for the mistake and stand corrected.
Now that I have humbled myself adequately, may we all ask that Chief Clayton use his magic car shopping powers to help us each get a similar deal? According to Motor Trend, 2012 Chevy Tahoes range between $38,755-$56,075. This year’s Tahoes go for $43,890-$57,150.
Is there a such thing as a blue light special for cop cars? (Pun intended and regretted.)
I hope the chief and the sheriff, for that matter, forgive my original, unintended error. But I do wish to thank them for at least one thing. By bringing this mistake to my attention, it seems by default they validate many of the other statements and claims (some rather bizarre and outlandish, I admit) I have made in these columns and on the air as true and unchallenged.
Since the chief has been quite helpful in setting me straight on the cost of the one Tahoe, can he possibly explain those two “footmen” (been watching Downton Abbey!) that seem to be constantly on each side of Sheriff Roundtree during office hours, and for most of his forays out into the public?
They used to be Deputies Alice Quarterman and Corey Carlyle, but many in the department are now calling them Thing 1 & Thing 2. (Or, depending on who you ask, Cagney & Lacey, Secret & Service, Upstairs & Downstairs or, my personal favorite, The Pips.)
The veteran officers made 35k a piece last year (I did look that up, I promise), which means the Sheriff has $70,000 worth of posse shadowing him these days. Insiders tell me they have never seen any other sheriff around here keep such a team at his side, and there are many other things both of them could be doing. Besides, you seen the sheriff lately? They don’t call him Tree for nothing. Gonna go out on a limb here (again with the puns) and speculate he does not need a dude and a lady guarding his body.
Chief, can you send me another note and clear this one up? You Might Also Like: