Budget not likely to meet needs
by Alan Reed
Jul 23, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cadiz Police Department finds itself balancing high fuel costs with the need to ensure public safety. Last year, the department spent $18,921 on fuel for patrol vehicles with a budget of $15,000. This year, the budget has been increased to $17,000.

“I hope to say that it will be enough, but I am not sure it will,” said Police Chief Hollis Alexander.

The Cadiz Police Department buys fuel through the State Fleet One Contract, meaning it purchases fuel at retail cost minus 30-40 cents through taxes.

“We are taking measures such as trying to slow down or cut back on some patrols. We don’t want to cut back on safety, but are trying to reduce some unnecessary patrols- like driving through a neighborhood that we patrolled five minutes earlier.”

Other measures implemented by the department include static radar patrols rather than rolling sweeps for speeders. Alexander said that the department now requires motors to stop in parked vehicles unless transporting a prisoner in hot weather or in cold weather to prevent starting issues. “There should be no cars idle,” said Alexander.

The chief said that police officers would continue to respond to calls for assistance from the public anywhere within their jurisdiction in a timely manner. “Generally, public safety dictates how much we have to drive and how much fuel we have to burn,” said Alexander. “If the public calls for a police officer, we have to respond. We have no control over that at all.”

Alexander said that his department tracks fuel usage per vehicle and patrol officer. Due to scheduling, no incentives are presently offered for high efficiency patrols. “The officer on the midnight shift has an advantage. There is less traffic and fewer complaints. We haven’t thought about a per-shift incentive yet. Right now, it wouldn’t be fair to officers in the whole department.”

Follow this series on Trigg County fleet vehicles and fuel needed to keep them on the road in your Cadiz Record.
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