Albany County Sheriff's cars go 'retro' | News
ALBANY - The Albany County Sheriff's office said the purchase of nine vehicles is all on the up and up. That's a break from controversial purchases by the department in the past.
The cars and vans have a new look as well. Instead of the current black and gold colors, they are black and white. It's a traditional 'retro' look planned for the entire fleet, that Sheriff Craig Apple said is saving taxpayer's money.
We got a look at one of the cars, a Dodge Charger that has both the new color scheme as well as a vinyl wrap around the middle that deputies said costs $500 less than standard striping.
The black and white style will eventually replace the black and gold colors, which will be phased out.
The cars were purchased with criminal forfeiture funds. That's the same fund used by a former drug interdiction unit that Apple shut down in March, in part because six cars were found to have been purchased improperly .
"What had been done is cars were purchased directly from a dealer. And they weren't bid out to see if we got the actual lowest price. we may have. I don't know. But they didn't go out for bidding," said Mark DeFrancesco, Sheriff's Office Inspector. "Here, we are bidding to make sure we get the lowest possible cost," he added about the recent purchases.
We checked with Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners, who confirmed that the Sheriffs vehicles were purchased using the required bidding process to get the lowest price.