The Fort Wayne, In., Police Department has asked officers to help foot the gasoline bill for using take-home police cars, reports the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette. Police Chief Rusty York has proposed asking who live in the city to spend $10 biweekly; $15 if officers live within 10 miles outside city limits and $20 for officers who live more than 10 miles from the city. York hopes the payments would help cover about half of the $500,000 increase in his fuel budget for next year.
DeKalb County Sheriff John Dennis did not consider charging his deputies a fee for the off-duty use of their cars. Instead he has limited his 19 officers to using their car just for driving to, from and during work. In Lexington, Ky., the department Fort Wayne modeled its take-home car program after, officers have been asked to voluntarily reduce their off-duty use of the cars. That means fewer trips to the mall or the grocery store with the take-home cars. There isn't any way to track that, but the idea is to reduce mileage on the vehicles and conserve gasoline. The chief in Lexington asked officers to limit off-duty use of take-home cars about two months ago. Despite the restrictions, Lexington police administrators wanted to make sure their 570 officers were still taking their cars home with them. Having a fleet at home proved itself again late last month when an airplane crashed at the end of a runway at the Lexington airport.