The Barbour County Sheriff's Department added to its fleet of vehicles using an alternate source of income.
If a sheriff's department needs money for new vehicles and new equipment it usually comes from the county. But the Barbour Sheriff's Department took fundraising into its own hands.
"We have nine out of 14 of our patrol cars, [which] have been paid for with seized drug money,” said Sheriff Leroy Upshaw. “It's a relief to the taxpayers of Barbour County to have those cars paid for at no cost to them."
That’s right, every cent that went into these vehicles and the equipment inside of them was actually provided by the people who distribute and use the drugs.
Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram puts the plan in his terms, saying, "We're letting the dope dealers fund the war against themselves; it’s basically what we're doing here in Barbour County and these guys patrol some 300 miles every shift."
Besides the good condition and look of the vehicles, the cars provide the sheriff’s department with something valuable; time, which is something the old cars spent a lot of getting repaired.
"Well, breakdowns was the biggest thing you know, just having so many miles on em’,” said Deputy Ronnie Benifield. "Now that we [have] these new ones and we don't have to worry about breakdowns for a good long while."