Sheriff holds auction to buy computers

LAWTON--The Comanche County Sheriff's Department pulled in just over $6,000 on Friday after auctioning off 20 cars no longer used by the department.  The money will go to purchase new computers for their office.

Undersheriff John Stowe served as auctioneer.  He said the department desperately needs new computers.  Most of the ones they use are hand-me-down's from other county departments.

"We've tried to get as much use out of them as we can, but they've got limited memory," said Stowe.  "We had a couple of them completely break down over the last few days."

The County Excise Board has recently put pressure on Sheriff Kenny Stradley to modernize his office and get more records and information onto computer databases.  Commissioner Ron Kirby said it's a good idea, but it may take some time.

"One of the things we're striving for is to modernize the sheriff's office and we can't do it overnight," Kirby said.

"We do (need to modernize)," Stowe said.  "We had to explain to them, we've not had the funds between the salaries and motor vehicles and gas."

Stowe said about 85% of their budget is used for salaries and each month, on average, they spend between $10,000 and $12,000.  Stowe said purchasing new computers was a luxury item their office just couldn't afford.

"We're hoping now with the sale of these vehicles and another sale coming up we'll take some more baby steps into the early 21st century," Stowe said.