Fleet Focus: Carroll County Sheriff’s Office

Today’s post puts the spotlight on a propane autogas fleet we briefly mentioned in last week’s news roundup: the Carroll County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office. Part of the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program from Virginia Clean Cities, the Carroll County Sheriff’s fleet is saving an estimated $135,000 annually in fuel costs with 36 autogas-powered vehicles. The law enforcement fleet expects to enjoy upwards of $170,000 in fuel savings while eliminating more than 130 tons of emissions each year once all 46 vehicles are up and running in 2013.

Here’s what Sheriff Terry Langley had to say:

“At first there were some questions about the flammability of the fuel, to which we explained that the fuel is as safe as gasoline – in fact, the autogas tanks are many times more puncture-resistant than gasoline tanks,” said Sheriff Langley. “With a little bit of education and fueling training, the officers felt comfortable operating the autogas vehicles. Now we even have officers request to drive the propane vehicles because they have better pickup.”

Their department’s work often includes interstate travel, and their officers have not had issues locating propane autogas fueling stations in other states.

“The move to propane autogas has been an excellent one for our county,” said Sheriff Langley. “We have achieved more control over our budget, it’s a safe fuel that burns cleaner and our officers like the vehicle performance. I wish we had made the switch sooner.”

Sheriff Langley first looked into alternative fuel for his fleet to combat budget problems caused by fluctuating gasoline prices. He says propane autogas was the most practical option, and that the autogas vehicle program has been well-received by the county’s officers.

Though regular readers of this blog may know all about SPADP, here’s a little more info about this regional autogas program: SPADP is made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program. The Alliance AutoGas network provides autogas vehicle conversions, fuel supply and support for SPADP. Alliance partner Force 911 in Pendergrass, Ga., performed the Carroll County conversions, while Alliance founder Blossman Gas provided infrastructure for two fueling stations and supplies the county autogas year-round.

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