CHILLICOTHE, OH - Careful monitoring of expenses during his first year in office helped Ross County Sheriff George Lavender save enough in his budget to enhance his cruiser fleet, according to the Chillicothe Gazette.

More than $250,000 was able to be saved through a careful scrutiny of every bill coming into the office and through some procedural changes made to operations, Lavender told the Gazette.

Cost-cutting measures included reducing jail staff hours and cell phones supplied by the office, contracting with a more cost-effective cleaning supply vendor, and cutting down on printing costs by uploading documents to the computer instead.

With the savings, he had money in the budget to buy seven used city police cruisers, three new sheriff's cars, and three new transport vans. By purchasing the newer vehicles, he said the office is eliminating a lot of maintenance costs on the older vehicles that have proven very costly.

"We spend thousands of dollars to get the cruisers fixed when they break down. Many of the cruisers have 200,000 or more miles on them," Lavender said.

Other purchases Lavender was able to make thanks to the savings included cameras in all the vehicles and extra electronic stun devices for the deputies, reported the Gazette.