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Armstrong sheriff replaces patrol cars with newer models

| Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

The Armstrong County Sheriff's Department's fleet of vehicles was back up to full force on Tuesday with the addition of two used police cars.

The department replaced its two out-of-commission Chevy Impalas with two 2011 Ford Crown Victorias. The cars were purchased from the Fox Chapel Police Department for $4,000 each, Armstrong County Sheriff Bill Rupert said. An additional $1,600 was spent to have Armstrong County markings put on the cars.

When the Impalas broke down this year, deputies were left sharing vehicles and using the department's van. Concerns about the cost of repairs led Rupert to look for replacements instead.

“Maintenance costs creep up to the point where you have to say it's not worth it,” he said.

Rupert jumped at the chance to buy the fully loaded police cars from Fox Chapel.

“These opportunities don't arise often, but when they do, it's nice,” Rupert said.

The county is waiting on word this fall about state grants that could cover the costs of the police cars retroactively, Rupert said.

The price of replacing the Impalas ended up costing less than it would have to fix them, said David Battaglia, chairman of the Armstrong County Commissioners.

“We had a need, and we had an opportunity,” he said. “This was a significant savings. We were getting two cars for really less than the price of one.”

Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315, or jmartin@tribweb.com.

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