Arizona Department of Public Safety officers will cut the number of miles they patrol on the highway because of skyrocketing gas prices that could cost the agency an extra $2 million this year, reports the Arizona Republic. Officers have been ordered to cut their driving by 10 percent a month and conduct stationary enforcements using radar guns on freeway ramps, medians, or overpasses instead of patrolling. Officers will write reports on the road instead of returning to the office, carpool to meetings and training, and look for bargain gas prices. “It’s exceeded more than we could have imagined,” said a spokesman about the gas prices. He said the changes could have a “slightly negative” impact on enforcement. Highway Patrol officers drive about 20,000 miles per year.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said fuel costs will double this year over 2004, to about $250,000. Deputies patrol about 7,700 unincorporated square miles in the county and sometimes face 30-mile drives to a single call. The agency averages about 700,000 to 900,000 miles a month, or about 11 million miles driven each year.