Rising fuel costs has forced those in law enforcement to think outside the box. CNG power vehicles are becoming the future of the Wagoner County Sheriff's Department. A black F-150 XL and the first truck they have equipped for compressed natural gas.
"These vehicles are going to last longer," says Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert touting the benefits of Compressed natural gas.
"Cleaner engines, cleaner air so everybody wins. We save money on fuel which will be enough to pay for vehicles itself," says Colbert.
It cost 9 thousand dollars to equip the truck. Colbert expects the to recoup the costs from the low cost of natural gas around a dollar a gallon versus close to 3 dollars a gallon for unleaded or diesel. He's expecting a savings of 5 thousand dollars a year in fuel costs and plans to equip new vehicles as they are added to his fleet at a rate of 2 to 3 a year. But there is one problem. CNG stations are hard to come by. The trucks can hold both CNG or gasoline and that's a good thing.
"Like this morning as he was coming into work he got an indicator that he was low on natural gas. he switched it over to gasoline with no issues."
The next step is to try to get a CNG station in Wagoner. That is currently in the works.