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Saturday July 4th, 2015 7:49AM

Couch looking to try cruiser refurbishment program

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - The Hall County Sheriff's office is planning to give new life to at least two of its Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars.

Sheriff Gerald Couch said he read about the program in a police magazine last year while he was campaigning. Participating dealers strip the high mileage cars from bumper to bumper, replacing anything that's worn out. That includes everything from the powertrain to carpet.

"I want to get two test vehicles, try them out for a while, before we spend any of the citizens money, to make sure the program does work," Couch said.

A new cruiser could cost around $28,000 for just the car. Couch said the restoration of a Crown Vic runs around $14,000.

Ford stopped making the Crown Vic cruiser in 2011. A restoration of cars also means the department won't have to buy new police parts for them.

"The equipment that goes in the Crown Victoria, the cage, all of the emergency lighting and the radios, we already have that equipment."

Couch planned to take the proposal to Hall County officials this week.

He also plans to transition the department's cruisers to a white paint scheme, because white, Couch said, is cheaper paint than the current champaign or gold tone paint on the cars now.
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