Crime truck

The funds will purchase and equip a 2016 Ford F150 for crime scene processing.

The investigations division of the sheriff’s office “currently lacks a vehicle property suited for crime scene investigations,” according to the written funding request.  “The currently utilized vehicles lack the needed capacity, ability, and functionality needed to effectively access, illuminate, and process crime scenes.”

Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch, who was a police officer for 13 years, brought up the request a few weeks ago, saying that he had seen Fluvanna investigators hampered by inferior equipment at a recent major crime scene.  “If you don’t have the tools or the equipment, you can’t do a professional job,” he said at the meeting.  “This is a basic need.”

“Certainly there’s a need but…this is a big item,” countered Supervisor Don Weaver.  “I think it needs to be in the regular budget to compete with the other departments.”  Predicting other departments would begin asking for extra funding if this request were approved, Weaver said that departments should bring their needs to the Board at budget time so that supervisors can weigh them in a larger context.

The county has made exceptions in the past, noted Ullenbruch, by funding projects deemed worthwhile outside of budget season.  “It’s a small amount to pay to get the job done right,” he said.

“In fairness to everyone in Fluvanna, I don’t think I can approve it,” maintained Weaver.  “If it comes through the budget I may very well be able to approve it, but not under these circumstances.”

The motion passed 4-1 with Weaver dissenting.

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