Some Police Cut Vehicle Patrols To Save On Gas Costs


Rising gas prices are prompting some police departments to curb their cruisers and walk the beat instead, says USA Today. Such changes shrink coverage areas and increase emergency response times. Others are cutting back on a popular program that allows officers to take their vehicles home to boost police presence in neighborhoods. “The unintended consequence of some fuel-saving solutions could be a reduction in police services,” said Justice Department policy analysts Karl Bickel and Deborah Spence. Jim Pasco, director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police officer organization, says, “Before you make any of these changes, there is good reason to think about what money might be saved versus what you could be sacrificing in (crime) deterrence and response.”

Officials from at least 30 law enforcement agencies met with U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) to say rising fuel costs could compromise public safety. Brady says some departments are cutting patrols by using two officers per car instead one. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a national advocacy group, says that “cities are having to eat this gas expense just when calls (for service) generally begin to rise in the summer.”


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