York County sheriff's cars to be monitored

Greg Gross

The York County Sheriff's Department will soon be able to keep tabs on where its vehicles are at any given time.

County commissioners at their weekly meeting Wednesday approved a deal with Verizon Networkfleet to have GPS tracking units installed in 17 of the department's vehicles. The deal also covers maintenance for a year.

Steven Diehl, the assistant chief deputy with the sheriff's department, said the devices will allow officials to pinpoint exactly where a vehicle is, providing a safety net for deputies while also delivering a layer of accountability.

Officials will be able to view the location of each unit on a map on a computer screen.

The units will be installed on the criminal response and prisoner transport, as well as in ones deputies drive for other duties, such as serving warrants, Diehl said in a phone interview.

"There's a lot of high-risk out there," he said. "You can't put a dollar on the safety of the deputies."

The department has a fleet of 32 vehicles.

Maintenance: The units will also allow officials to view fuel consumption and the devices can alert the department when repairs for the tracking device equipped vehicles are needed, Diehl said.

The unit can text or email an official when, for example, a vehicle's brakes need work, he said.

The department took part in a free a pilot program in June and found it successful.

Each unit costs just more than $175, for a cost of $2,979 for the 17 units. There's also a $322 monthly maintenance charge, totally just under $3,866 for a year of service.

Commissioners approved the measure unanimously.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.