Martin County Looking to Get New Patrol Vehicles

Martin County Looking to Get New Patrol Vehicles
By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY - New patrol cars for the sheriff's office was a hot topic at Tuesday's Commissioner's Court in Martin County. In the meeting, one of the main concerns for the sheriff's office was the deputy's safety.

"We've never utilized a lot of the equipment that is standard, is most all patrol vehicles nowadays," Martin County Sheriff, John Woodward, said.

The standard equipment being cages and partitions, which separate the person arrested from the officer.

"We've had windshields kicked out of our vehicles. We've had guys that no matter how appropriately they were restrained, have kicked officers," he said.

The new vehicles the department is looking at getting would come fully equipped with the police package.

"They've got the complete outfit, even at the purchase price, we can get one ready to go which means less down time," Woodward said.

The sheriff said, like most places in the Permian Basin, Martin County has gone through a lot of changes.

"Some of the practices, we're really have to step up and change. There's things that are antiquated and are no longer working to stay up with today's criminal world," he said.

It's not just the criminal world but the traffic world as well.

"We've had roads that were never traveled, now you'll pass dozens of vehicles at any given time," he explained. 

Sheriff Woodward said it's not about getting new cars, it's all about the safety of his team and the county.

"I just don't want to be in the situation where something happens in the community and we didn't take every step to provide adequate ability to respond, to assist, to help the needs of our citizens," he said.

The sheriff's office told NewsWest 9 they are still looking at what types of patrol vehicles to get and they are trying to be as cost effective as possible.