Ohio county’s new police cruisers designed to fight virus


ASHLAND, Ohio (WJW) —  For nearly a year, Ashland County Sheriff’s deputies have been wearing masks, disinfecting equipment and doing everything they can to fight crime and COVID-19.

“We, and just about every other department, have had some cases in every one of our divisions,” Ashland County Sheriff Wayne Risner told NewsNation affiliate WJW.

He said he is relieved to now have a new tool to help his deputies deal with the pandemic: COVID-19 cruisers.

“These cars are COVID-19-related cars. They are all plastic inside the back of the vehicle,” the sheriff said. “It’s a real great layer of protection for our staff, the deputies that drive the vehicles, and the public.”

County officials explained the Ford cruisers will heat to around 130 degrees for 15 minutes and then cool off, which they say will help kill any viruses.

“It helps protect the officers and the citizens,” said Ashland County Commissioner Denny Bittle. “This was real critical to us. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible and we know the time it takes on a road vehicle to sanitize it. So this saves us a lot of money and it’s a lot safer for the community. “

Commissioners said they used federal CARES Act money to purchase four of the vehicles for the sheriff’s office and four for the county job and family services department.

“These cars have a special purpose and will help is with the pandemic,” said Peter Stefaniuk, director of the Ashland County JFS.

Risner said the deputies will be on the road with the vehicles soon.

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