Broward News

Bitchin' Car, Al! But How Will You Explain It to Stacy?

The Broward Sheriff's Office is rolling out a fleet pair of 2009 Dodge Challengers,* but if this is the first you've heard about it, that's probably because they arrive amid a fierce round of budget slashing in other county agencies. Not exactly a climate for bragging about muscle cars.

It's a little like that sitcom scene where the husband (Sheriff Al Lamberti, in our example) comes home with a new set of wheels and his spouse (Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter, let's say) fumes about how she's been trying to cut costs so they can afford to pay the mortgage...

Point is, Ritter and other members of the Broward County Commission are going to be pissed. Not to mention some of the several thousand county employees who may have to take unpaid furloughs on top of budget cuts. The cuts that Lamberti has refused to make in the same proportion.

In the MOPAR blog we linked above, BSO's fleet director is asked by the interviewer whether the cars were seized from bad guys -- a bargain that taxpayers might appreciate.

"No, actually they were put out for bid, specifically for the Aggressive Driving Task Force, which we are putting in for a Federal grant," says [Don] Prichard, who adds that not a lot of extra equipment was needed to upfit these Challengers for duty--they just added lights and striping. "Everything on the green and white car was donated. Inside the grey one, we added radar and a camera system, plus the lights and the Titanium striping for the Titanium-color car."
Throw in the Smart Cars the agency purchased from a Lamberti campaign contributor and BSO's been on a car-buying bonanza.

* 8/3/09 -  When I read the MOPAR blog last week, I didn't see mention of how many Dodge Challengers had been ordered. I asked BSO that question, but have yet to hear back. The current blog post contains a line about there being two Challengers. We'll update after BSO gets back to us.

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Thomas Francis