COLUMBIANA CO. — The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Department received a pretty big present recently when Chesapeake Energy delivered a gleaming black Chevy Tahoe SUV that Sheriff Raymond Stone verified is a four-wheel drive vehicle.
“This will be beneficial to us because we have some pretty rough roads we have to travel,” said Stone.
Stone indicated the donated vehicle has 131,000 miles on it, but the motor was replaced at 98,000 miles, meaning it technically has been driven only 33,000 miles. The vehicle was used by Chesapeake as a “rover” for its security department, which travels from site to site, and it was painted to resemble a police cruiser with a black body and white doors and roof. The sheriff’s department had the roof and doors painted black, added yellow stripes and their name, changed the light bar from blinking yellow to red and blue flashing lights, and removed Chesapeake’s stickers, transforming it into an official vehicle in the sheriff department’s fleet. A 2013 Chevy Tahoe four-wheel drive vehicle has a sticker price of close to $44,000.
Pete Kenworthy, Chesapeake’s manager of media relations, reported the company recently gave another Chevy Tahoe to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. Chesapeake is the largest gas and oil leaseholder in the Utica shale play within Carroll, Columbiana and Harrison counties, and this is the company’s second donation of a Tahoe to a sheriff department within the area. Kenworthy pointed out since the gas and oil industry is bringing more activity to the area, law enforcement officials have more to do, and he said Chesapeake is attempting to lessen the burden a little by donating the vehicles.
Stone reported the sheriff department, located in Lisbon, has 192 jail beds and a staff of 21 deputies. When viewed in total, vehicles in the sheriff’s department’s fleet have, to date, been driven an average of 70,000 miles.
“We probably have about 30 vehicles in our fleet. We try to rotate them out a couple at a time so we’re not replacing them all at once,” said Stone. “We usually drive our vehicles 120,000 to 130,000 miles before we rotate them.”