The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office will be able to retain 16 vehicles in its fleet instead of having to shelve them after a certain amount of miles or years of service.

The request was granted unanimously at the Feb. 1 Fort Bend County Commissioners Court meeting. The request was made due to supply chain shortages that have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to agenda documents.

There has also been an increase in staff for field operations, meaning more people are needing access to the vehicles. Instead of having to wait for the other vehicles to be ordered or for maintenance to be done on them, employees will have access to the pool of 16 vehicles.

The 16 vehicles were originally going to be replaced by new ones, but now the sheriff's office will not have to wait for the new vehicles. They will now be classified as permanent additions to be used when one of the main vehicles is out for repairs or maintenance.

“The vehicles are needed to serve as pool vehicles for replacements whenever there's a car out for a mechanical repair or damage repair,” Assistant Chief Deputy Manuel Zamora said.