The cost of fuel has become so prohibitive that El Paso County, Co., Sheriff Terry Maketa has asked his officers working the graveyard shift to stop routine patrols, shut their cars off, and respond only to emergency calls, the Denver Post reports. “We’ve essentially had to turn back to being reactive, primarily because the county doesn’t have the revenue to keep our fleet being fueled,” Maketa said.
The sputtering economy and soaring cost of fuel will force sheriff’s departments to make fundamental changes in the way they conduct business, said Don Christensen, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. He said some departments may employ a concept called “omnipresence” where deputies drive patrol cars home and park them in driveways. “It’s a deterrent,” said Christensen. By seeing a patrol car in their neighborhood, residents have “a policeman in sight” and know where to go to find a cop, he said.