Citizens for Better Government

Blount County Tennessee

 

Sheriff Berrong’s huge vehicle fleet is costing YOU a fortune

 

The Sheriff has told the Commission that he will not cut his budget. Perhaps the Sheriff could help us understand why he needs so many vehicles.

 

According to the 2010 Audit Report, the Sheriff had 270 employees. Approximately 104 of those worked in the Jail. Another 24 worked in Juvenile Detention. Approximately another 10 work in secretarial, records clerical positions. That leaves approximately 136 people in the Sheriff’s department who are likely to have a legitimate need for a County vehicle. The problem is that the Audit Report shows the Sheriff has 247 vehicles. The Sheriff’s fleet consists of 173 patrol cars, 40 SUVs, 18 trucks, 6 vans, 6 motorcycles and 4 cars. No matter how you slice it, the Sheriff appears to have approximately 100 vehicles more than he needs. Those 100 extra vehicles are costing you, the Blount County taxpayers, more than $1 million per year.

 

The Sheriff’s Fleet

Type

2002

2010

% Increase

Patrol Cars

111

173

56%

Sport Utility Vehicles

14

40

185%

Trucks

4

18

350%

Vans

3

6

100%

Motorcycles

0

6

-

Total

132

247

87%

County Population

108,000

122,000

13%

 

The County population grew by 13% from 2002 to 2010. Over the same period, the Sheriff expanded his vehicle fleet from 132 units to 247 units, a whopping 87% increase. Why?

 

Even with this outsized fleet, the Sheriff spent an average of nearly $950,000 per year on new vehicles and related equipment over the last three years. This is more than double the average of what Sullivan, Sumner and Washington (the three counties closest to us in population) spend.

 

None of these figures include other vehicles in the Sheriff’s fleet, like two mobile command posts (one purchased recently for $350,000), three boats, four ATVs, and even several horses.

 

It sure looks like the Sheriff could cut an easy $1 million to $1.5 million from the budget just by “right sizing” his vehicle fleet.

 

http://www.blounttn.net/