You can’t please everyone – even when you take away a drug dealer’s car.
The Clayton County Sheriff’s Department in Atlanta, Georgia is under fire from some citizens for keeping a confiscated Corvette ZR1 that it is using for promotional and educational purposes.
Clarence E. Cox, the sheriff’s department’s director of constituency services, points out that the car was not paid for by taxpayers, and in fact, it’s clearly marked on the back: “Donated by a Local Drug Dealer.”
Cox says the car was used as a cocaine transporter, with the illegal drug sometimes even hidden in a taillight. When the drug dealer was busted, the sheriff’s department took possession of the car.
The car has not been repainted but is covered with removable wrapping with the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department logo on it. It’s not used for patrol or chases.
However, at least one taxpayer, Menyon Epps, is worried about the amount of money she says it costs to take care of a luxury car, apparently unaware that many Corvette owners, including this writer, spend less money on upkeep than they do on a relatively mundane vehicle like a Suburban.
“I just think there are better things the department could do with that money,” Epps told CBS Atlanta News Channel 6.
Cox begs to differ.
“(The car) sends the message that one, we’re not going to have drug dealing in our communities,” Cox said, “(and) two, if you do that, we’re gonna take your goods and put them to use in a law enforcement purpose.”
He says the car would just be sitting in a parking lot if it was not being used in anti-drug educational appearances aimed at young people in particular.
Cox has already seen the influence the car can have on the community, he says, and that if just one individual can be influenced to do the right thing, then it’s worth the tank of gas it costs taxpayers.
We’re sure a ZR1 is much more effective than a Cruze would be, for example.