Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has reversed an order by the state Department of Public Safety requiring officers to reduce patrols to conserve fuel in the face of a potential $2 million overrun in fuel costs. The governor directed Director Roger Vanderpool to rescind his Sept. 23 order asking officers to cut the miles they drive by 10 percent each month, reports the Arizona Republic. Napolitano’s decision came after the Republic reported the agency’s new measures for fuel conservation as it faces an anticipated additional $2 million to $2.9 million in gas costs. Measures remaining in place include writing reports on the road instead of returning to the office, cutting unnecessary travel, and carpooling to meetings and training.
“We don’t compromise public safety to save costs for fuel,” Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer said. “There are other ways to handle those kinds of budget shortfalls.” Vanderpool said he wanted to make an effort early on to conserve fuel in “common sense” ways such as carpooling. He said the intention was to save money and put more officers on the highway. “It was never to reduce officers patrolling the highways. It was to patrol smarter,” he said. “The governor is committed to keep the highway patrol very visible on the road and that is what we are going to do.”