Sheriff’s Office Rolls Out New Patrol Vehicle, Design

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has begun to roll out its new fleet of patrol vehicles. The department will also change its design from red and white to black and gold. Photo by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office has begun rolling out its new fleet of vehicles, and with it comes a new look.

The first of the Ford Interceptor Utility vehicles began its patrol Wednesday and will be used with the K-9 unit. Sheriff Joe Gerace said around nine new trucks will be put into service this year once equipment — including radios and graphics — is installed.

The Sheriff’s Office will go from Chevrolet Impalas with its iconic red and white design to an all sport utility fleet with black, gold and red coloring.

“These vehicles offer so much more,” Gerace said, noting that amount of equipment each deputy must use while on patrol. “These vehicles become mobile offices. With what we have now, there is no space left in the car.”

The Sheriff’s Office budgeted funds to update its aging fleet beginning this year. Gerace said the department looked at a variety of options, including the Chevy Tahoe and Dodge Durango, before settling on the Ford Interceptor Utility, the SUV version of the sedan Ford offers for police departments.

Gerace said price and gas mileage played a factor in choosing Ford. He said having all-wheel-drive was important as well during the winter.

“It was time for an upgrade,” Gerace said of the upgraded design. “We’ve been using red and white pretty much my entire career. It was time for a new look. It’s bold yet it’s simple.”

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to use the Impalas until the entire fleet is replaced.

See the Thursday edition of The Post-Journal for more coverage.