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Sheriff's Department spends $6,283 to upgrade Viper

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- SAY NO TO DRUGS :  To fight drug use, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department shelled out seized drug money for a new top and lighting for a Dodge Viper. -  - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • SAY NO TO DRUGS : To fight drug use, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department shelled out seized drug money for a new top and lighting for a Dodge Viper.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors at its Feb. 1 meeting approved $128,129 to supplement the Sheriff’s Department budget. According to a county staff report, the supplement won’t come out of the county general fund—the cash was seized in enforcement efforts by the department, which needed approval from the county before it could apply the money.

The board also formally accepted two confiscated vehicles—a 1994 Dodge Viper and a Honda SUV—as forfeited assets, a necessary step in the department’s continued use of them.

The Sheriff’s Department has been using the Viper in its DARE anti-drug program since 2010, according to the report. The department believes that showing a former drug dealer’s sports car to school children will deter them from becoming drug users.

The Sheriff’s Department spent $6,283 to upgrade the Viper: $3,866 for a new hardtop and $2,417 for emergency vehicle lighting. The department estimates the annual maintenance for the Viper will be $5,500.

The department also spent $11,022 to re-key patrol vehicles. According to a staff report, the Sheriff’s Department had to do this “when it was discovered that the keys to some retired vehicles sold at auction might open vehicles still in the active fleet.”

A portable shelter was bought for $1,914 “to protect both the department’s dog, Jack, and his Deputy Sheriff partner” during community programs, special operations, and inclement weather.

 The department also spent $3,350 on two handheld wireless barcode scanners used to electronically track inventory kept in the property room. The department’s old scanners were “no longer functioning reliably.”

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