BISBEE — Donation of four Ford Raptor pickup trucks to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department caught the attention of Cochise County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Board members grilled Tom Alinen, support services commander, on why the Howard G. Buffett Foundation “…felt the need” to donate the 4-wheel drive vehicles. The trucks were among six that were contributed by the foundation to the sheriff’s department, representing a total donation of $348,802.91.
“It’s kind of a classy pick up,” said Chairwoman Ann English. “Why do we need super trucks?”
Alinen said as a member of the agency’s Search and Rescue team, he has often had to park his vehicle and walk to a location. With 4-wheel drive, he said, he will reach those scenes faster.
“Is there an understanding that we won’t be replacing these vehicles?” English asked.
She said Cochise County vehicle services are equipped to repair and maintain Chevrolets and questioned what the sheriff’s department will do if the Ford trucks need service. Fleet Director Ruben Miranda confirmed that replacing the tires and adapting the electronics of the new trucks would cost more than what it costs his department to work on Chevrolets.
Referring to the foundation and its namesake, Howard Buffett, English asked if he was aware of the “unintended consequences” of the donation.
“Please make sure that’s given to him,” English said.
Ed Gilligan, county administrator, said the trucks have a three year warranty to pay for maintenance and repairs. He indicated the…
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