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Lawrence getting military vehicles

May. 23, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless has asked for some new cruisers, some used ones and even some Humvees. What he got was a deuce-and-a-half truck from the U.S. military.

"Half the fleet really could be replaced," Lawless said Monday about his department's vehicles. "A bunch of them have high mileage and have suspension problems and need brakes."

Commissioner Bill Pratt said the county would like to buy two new cruisers at a cost of more than $29,000 each and pay for them with workers compensation rebate funds.

The sheriff also is working with Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook to take possession of two used cruisers and a wrecked cruiser that can be used for parts, Lawless said. The sheriff's office also has a used cruiser from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle has damage to the driver's door and is awaiting repairs.

"It's parked right now," Lawless said. "We don't have the money to fix it. It only has 82,000 miles on it."

A number of the county's patrol cruisers have more than 200,000 miles on them, and some have more than 300,000 miles on them, he said.

Lawless said the decommissioned two-and-a-half ton U.S. Army truck is a 1996 model and has only 17,000 miles on it.

"We can use it for natural disasters, floods and SWAT maneuvers," Lawless said.

"We were tickled to get the thing," said Jeff Hitchcock, chief deputy in the sheriff's office. "It has new tires."

The sheriff's office has had the truck for several weeks now, Lawless said.

"We heard we might be able to get some used vehicles," he said. "We asked for the deuce-and-a-half and four Humvees. We were told we could request surplus military equipment. We put the request in last year. It took seven months to hear back.

"We've been approved for the Humvees, but we don't know when we might get them," Lawless said.

He and some sheriff's office personnel were putting Lawrence County Sheriff's Office decals on the truck Monday. They plan to drive it in the Memorial Day Parade next week.