FAIRBURY, NE – The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of two new, 2020 Ford Explorers for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office on Tuesday.
Each new patrol car will cost a little more than $33,000.
“Basically one of those vehicles is going to be a (Fairbury patrol) vehicle,” Jefferson County Sheriff Nels Sorenson said. “One of them will replace one of the (county) Explorers, and that (old) Explorer will roll over into the city fleet.”
Sorenson tried to order 2019 Explorers, but those just recently became unavailable. The Ford Motor Company had already reached their quota on the number of 2019 Explorers manufactured.
So, the 2020 vehicles will cost the county about $8,000 more than expected. These cruisers will arrive in Fairbury in about 45-90 days, as the sheriff’s office prepares to absorb the Fairbury City Police Department.
“The general public is not going to see a difference,” Sorenson said. “We’ve been filling shifts for the city police department since June 1. When residents call for an officer on (Dec. 18), the officer will be in a brown uniform instead of a blue uniform.”
The Fairbury P.D. officially becomes part of the sheriff’s department on Dec. 18 – 90 days after the city council approved the law enforcement contract in September.
Four employees, three officers and one secretary, will be employed by the county sheriff’s office. The next step is transferring these employees’ insurance, particularly vacation and sick leave days, from the city of Fairbury over to the county.
“They’ve stuck this out,” Sorenson said. “They haven’t abandoned us, so we’re not going to have to start from scratch on Dec. 18 for those people. We need to check with the city on what day that they no longer have insurance.”
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