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Posted: 7/19/2010 8:04:51 PM EDT
City now charging cops to drive patrol cars home (vote in poll)
http://www.gastongazette.com/news/patrol-49115-home-cars.html link left cold

A new policy is pulling more money out of the pockets of Gastonia police officers who choose to drive their patrol cars home after each shift.

But almost every one of the department’s sworn officers has elected to bite their tongues and absorb the new per-mile charge in exchange for the convenience it brings.

“We have 175 sworn officers who could be assigned a vehicle,” said Gastonia Police Capt. Ed Turas. “Only four of them have opted out of driving their patrol cars home.”

Police previously enjoyed the privilege of doing that for free. But the Gastonia City Council recently voted to charge 15 cents per mile for officers who live inside the city limits, and 20 cents per mile for miles driven outside the city limits.

The charge will be taken out of the officers’ paychecks for the first time beginning this month. An officer who lives five miles away from the police department will pay $1.50 per workday, or about $390 per year, for the privilege of taking his or her vehicle home.

City engineers took each officer’s home address and used a mapping program to determine how far they live from the police department, and what their fee will be per workday. The 20-cent-per-mile fee takes effect one mile outside the city limits, where Gastonia’s extra-territorial jurisdiction ends.

The new policy represented a compromise to an original proposal from City Manager Jim Palenick, who in April suggested eliminating the take-home car program altogether. He said it would allow the Police Department to trim its fleet of more than 200 vehicles and save tax dollars without hurting response times.

But Gastonia Police Chief Tim Adams argued putting fewer cars on the road would be more costly in the long run because the fewer vehicles that were being used around the clock would have to be replaced more frequently. City Council members also suggested they weren’t comfortable with such a drastic change, as most police departments in this area allow cars to be taken home.

Charging 15 cents and 20 cents per mile represents an effort to ease a little of the burden on taxpayers, Adams said.

“It’s really an arbitrary fee,” he said. “What we were trying to do is just recoup some of those fuel costs.”

Palenick estimates the per-mile fees paid by officers could produce about $94,000 in revenue for the city in the current fiscal year.

“Obviously those numbers will vary a little bit,” he said.

Having a distinctive black and white patrol car in a driveway or residential neighborhood can help deter crime, and is welcomed by many neighbors, Turas said. The ability to take a squad car home is also a recruiting tool for hiring the most talented police officers, he said.

When the car is right there waiting for an officer to use, it can also serve a huge benefit, even when the employee is technically off duty, Turas said.

“Every officer is obligated to give us their phone number and has to be available upon request,” he said. “Once they have a company vehicle, there are no excuses. That can make for a tremendous difference in response times.”

Fully eliminating the take-home car program would have saved the city more money, Palenick said. Future discussions of how to refine the new policy and cut costs are likely to be entertained, as part of the normal budget process each year, he said.

“This was a compromise,” he said. “There’s no question about that.”
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:12:02 PM EDT
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:13:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


agreed
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:14:42 PM EDT



Originally Posted By davekd7ds:


Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.






 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:16:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


Yes.  OP, this will not go well for you.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:16:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


agreed


Same here!  Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:19:52 PM EDT
The city I just moved out of allowed officers to use their patrol cars as personal vehicles when off duty and 90% drove them like a rental car with free gas.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:29:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chizult:
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


Yes.  OP, this will not go well for you.


Can't win all the time.
The thing that pisses me off the most is the city pushed to have a car for each cop to drive home. Then they go and spend money on the stupidest shit, and then start charging cops for taking their cars home to help them recoup expenses.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:31:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


This

Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:33:58 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Shifteybricks:



Originally Posted By Chizult:


Originally Posted By davekd7ds:

Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.




Yes.  OP, this will not go well for you.




Can't win all the time.

The thing that pisses me off the most is the city pushed to have a car for each cop to drive home. Then they go and spend money on the stupidest shit, and then start charging cops for taking their cars home to help them recoup expenses.
Well then thats gay.  Otherwise I would agree with previous "Fuck 'em" statements....





 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:34:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2010 8:35:21 PM EDT by mattg43]
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:35:56 PM EDT
i say we tax people so I dont have to buy my own gas to drive to and from work. Also they should pay for the wear and tear on the tires too.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:36:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Shifteybricks:
City now charging cops to drive patrol cars home (vote in poll)
http://www.gastongazette.com/news/patrol-49115-home-cars.html link left cold

A new policy is pulling more money out of the pockets of Gastonia police officers who choose to drive their patrol cars home after each shift.

But almost every one of the department’s sworn officers has elected to bite their tongues and absorb the new per-mile charge in exchange for the convenience it brings.

“We have 175 sworn officers who could be assigned a vehicle,” said Gastonia Police Capt. Ed Turas. “Only four of them have opted out of driving their patrol cars home.”

Police previously enjoyed the privilege of doing that for free. But the Gastonia City Council recently voted to charge 15 cents per mile for officers who live inside the city limits, and 20 cents per mile for miles driven outside the city limits.

The charge will be taken out of the officers’ paychecks for the first time beginning this month. An officer who lives five miles away from the police department will pay $1.50 per workday, or about $390 per year, for the privilege of taking his or her vehicle home.

City engineers took each officer’s home address and used a mapping program to determine how far they live from the police department, and what their fee will be per workday. The 20-cent-per-mile fee takes effect one mile outside the city limits, where Gastonia’s extra-territorial jurisdiction ends.

The new policy represented a compromise to an original proposal from City Manager Jim Palenick, who in April suggested eliminating the take-home car program altogether. He said it would allow the Police Department to trim its fleet of more than 200 vehicles and save tax dollars without hurting response times.

But Gastonia Police Chief Tim Adams argued putting fewer cars on the road would be more costly in the long run because the fewer vehicles that were being used around the clock would have to be replaced more frequently. City Council members also suggested they weren’t comfortable with such a drastic change, as most police departments in this area allow cars to be taken home.

Charging 15 cents and 20 cents per mile represents an effort to ease a little of the burden on taxpayers, Adams said.

“It’s really an arbitrary fee,” he said. “What we were trying to do is just recoup some of those fuel costs.”

Palenick estimates the per-mile fees paid by officers could produce about $94,000 in revenue for the city in the current fiscal year.

“Obviously those numbers will vary a little bit,” he said.

Having a distinctive black and white patrol car in a driveway or residential neighborhood can help deter crime, and is welcomed by many neighbors, Turas said. The ability to take a squad car home is also a recruiting tool for hiring the most talented police officers, he said.

When the car is right there waiting for an officer to use, it can also serve a huge benefit, even when the employee is technically off duty, Turas said.

“Every officer is obligated to give us their phone number and has to be available upon request,” he said. “Once they have a company vehicle, there are no excuses. That can make for a tremendous difference in response times.”

Fully eliminating the take-home car program would have saved the city more money, Palenick said. Future discussions of how to refine the new policy and cut costs are likely to be entertained, as part of the normal budget process each year, he said.

“This was a compromise,” he said. “There’s no question about that.”


One must consider, uh, well, um this is.....Gastonia after all.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:40:06 PM EDT


I have a feeling no sympathy will be gained here.


I know I would not want a marked cop car in front of my house anyway.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:40:10 PM EDT



Originally Posted By mattg43:


Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.



I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


Then your neighborhood could take up a collection to help the guy out?



 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:40:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattg43:
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


I don't think there's any appreciable benefit to it.  We had a cop three houses down and one across the street, cars always parked in their driveways.  Didn't stop two meth heads from following me home and lurking around my house even after being chased off twice at gunpoint and cops called multiple times.  Two weeks later they stole the motor off my boat from behind my house in the fenced back yard.  YMMV
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:42:42 PM EDT
They need to leave em parked and drive their own vehicles home (like the rest of the world does)
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:42:45 PM EDT
A couple points:

1.  I prefer not having a take home car
2.  My neighborts liked me having a take home car
3.  If the cars are full use(not just to and from), it counts as income and should be reported as such.  This may eliminate that issue.
4.  Times is tough.  If the cops don't want to pay they don't have to.  Since most chose to pay, they obviously think it is worth it.  And it saves tax payers money.
5.  The town govt certainly sounds stupid but oh well.  Elections have consequences and Stupid hurts.  Some times it causes collateral damage.
6.  I think the part about recruiting is iffy at best.  It can help retention and morale but I have yet to see some take a job based on a take home car.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:43:20 PM EDT
I guess next time they do a call-out and need them there PDQ they will have to wait just a little longer for the officer to go to the station and pick his car up.  Hope no one is needed in a hurry.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:43:33 PM EDT



Originally Posted By kevthebassman:



Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:


Originally Posted By davekd7ds:

Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.




agreed




Same here!  Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?


Because visible presence deters crime. A car in a driveway is having an effect. A car at the station is not.

 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:44:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattg43:
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


Cost benefit analysis.

Yes it can deter crime.  Not as much as you might think though.  Especially the ones being parked in the country or in another town.  But if it costs the city an extra 250K a year is it worth the limited reduction or could that money be put to better use?
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:46:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By althor:
They need to leave em parked and drive their own vehicles home (like the rest of the world does)


Hmmm, you do realize that some folks who ain't cops get cars as a benefit of their job right?
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:46:38 PM EDT
Fucked up city government, but it's better than layoffs


Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:46:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By retgarr:

Originally Posted By kevthebassman:
Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


agreed


Same here!  Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?

Because visible presence deters crime. A car in a driveway is having an effect. A car at the station is not.  


Any studies done to measure that effect?  Any way to prove it?  I'm not being a smartass, I honestly would like to know if there's a statistical basis for that.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:47:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By retgarr:

Originally Posted By kevthebassman:
Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
Originally Posted By davekd7ds:
Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.


agreed


Same here!  Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?

Because visible presence deters crime. A car in a driveway is having an effect. A car at the station is not.  


But let us take it further:  The money not spent buying 3-5 times as many patrol cars might have an effect else where.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:47:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Texaspyro21:
The city I just moved out of allowed officers to use their patrol cars as personal vehicles when off duty and 90% drove them like a rental car with free gas.


same here, I see them driving them around to the store in civies,  we even have wives driving them around sometimes around here. usually pisses me off as we are over-copped anyway.

or over dick-copped.  we're drastically short of good ones who want to catch criminals and improve the community and not hassle people for going 3 over or give you shit because you chose to CCW.

Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:48:06 PM EDT
“Every officer is obligated to give us their phone number and has to be available upon request,” he said. “Once they have a company vehicle, there are no excuses. That can make for a tremendous difference in response times.”




Umm, then take your damn car back!  

I would not want to be "on-call" AND be charged for mileage use of the vehicle.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:49:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2010 8:49:45 PM EDT by Svetgar]
I will say that at the dept I worked for, we used the same vehicles from shift to shift (no take homes) and they get tore the fuck up FAST
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:50:03 PM EDT
Seems fair enough to me.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:56:09 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Shifteybricks:




... they go and spend money on the stupidest shit, ...


Focus on that part.



 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:59:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattg43:
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


If crime is so bad that you want the cop next door to park his car in the driveway, then maybe you should waltz over there and tell him to do a better fucking job.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:02:39 PM EDT




Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:



Originally Posted By mattg43:

Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot? Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding. We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.



I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime. You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.




If crime is so bad that you want the cop next door to park his car in the driveway, then maybe you should waltz over there and tell him to do a better fucking job.




Somehow, I expected this kind of stupid reply from you.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:02:52 PM EDT
I love my take home car. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Driving a pool car sucks the feces covered cock of satan.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:08:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GoGop:

Originally Posted By Shifteybricks:

... they go and spend money on the stupidest shit, ...

Focus on that part.
 


Yeah I plan to vote against all the pole smoking cum dumpsters. I just feel that it is a bull shit maneuver to recover money spent on stupid shit, or to make more money to continue to spend on stupid shit.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:12:45 PM EDT
I dont get to use my GSA to commute.......thats the peoples money we are using to run it....
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:35:58 PM EDT
If the NAPA autoparts guys cant drive the NAPA trucks home from work then cops shouldnt either.
Marketing hats FTW.




Link Posted: 7/19/2010 9:58:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
If the NAPA autoparts guys cant drive the NAPA trucks home from work then cops shouldnt either.



Marketing hats FTW.

http://www.bakersauto.net/images/auto/napaTruck.jpg


With the prices they charge you figure they could afford to let they're employees drive the truck home.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 10:43:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattg43:
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot?  Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding.  We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime.  You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


CCW permits are a deterrent to crime, why should citizens have to pay money to get them?

I would not want to drive a cop car around all the time. For one thing, everyone knows you're a cop when you get out of it, even in street clothes, and all kinds of nasty stuff happens in the back of those cars.

Link Posted: 7/19/2010 10:55:31 PM EDT
i have a bigger problem with the out of towners doing this unless they are on a special unit.


Originally Posted By kevthebassman:



Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:


Originally Posted By davekd7ds:

Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.




agreed




Same here!  Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?






 
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 10:56:29 PM EDT
i also don't like that they take them to the gym and to college classes here.  and if anybody wonders, btdt.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 10:59:30 PM EDT
Like others have said-



Boo fucking Hoo.




Pay for your own fucking transportation, just like the rest of us.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 11:33:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
Originally Posted By mattg43:
Nobody here sees a benefit in having these cars parked spread out all over town instead of all in the police station parking lot? Locally, they park older police cars empty on the side of the road to deter speeding. We have a officer who parks his car a couple streets over from us - wish he was closer to cut down on the speeding on our street.

I think having a police car parked in a neighborhood is a deterrent to crime. You lose that if all the cars are parked at the police station.


If crime is so bad that you want the cop next door to park his car in the driveway, then maybe you should waltz over there and tell him to do a better fucking job.


Somehow, I expected this kind of stupid reply from you.


That's cute. Go make me a sandwich.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 11:38:01 PM EDT
Anybody that would ticket for a tag light being out should pay to get to their WORK, just like the rest of us.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 12:02:05 AM EDT
The agency I worked for had problems with cars getting broken into when parked around the county. Also had a car stolen from a drive way less than two blocks from the copshop. The car was driven through every ditch and mailbox around, and was found by another agency burning to the ground.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 12:10:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By O-Face:
I guess next time they do a call-out and need them there PDQ they will have to wait just a little longer for the officer to go to the station and pick his car up.  Hope no one is needed in a hurry.


Im sure America will somehow survive.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 1:13:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By spectre556:
The agency I worked for had problems with cars getting broken into when parked around the county. Also had a car stolen from a drive way less than two blocks from the copshop. The car was driven through every ditch and mailbox around, and was found by another agency burning to the ground.


That doesn't surprise me at all.

I have no problem with them being charged to take their cars home.  If they are burning fuel and accumulating wear and tear for personal usage they need to cover that.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 1:34:30 AM EDT




Originally Posted By NathanJK:



Originally Posted By spectre556:

The agency I worked for had problems with cars getting broken into when parked around the county. Also had a car stolen from a drive way less than two blocks from the copshop. The car was driven through every ditch and mailbox around, and was found by another agency burning to the ground.




That doesn't surprise me at all.



I have no problem with them being charged to take their cars home. If they are burning fuel and accumulating wear and tear for personal usage they need to cover that.




Well in all fairness the stolen car had been left unlocked with the keys in the sunvisor



Deputy was off for the weekend, and another deputy who's car was at the shop was going to be taking it for the midnight shift. Boss man was livid about that little affair, didn't help that it was barely two months old.





What surprised us was the fact that everything, including firearms were left to burn.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:09:25 AM EDT
Drie your priuvate car to the office...do your shift....drive your car home. Why should the Gen public pay for that gas? Your not on duty. Sorry... I agree if they want to take it home...pay for the gas. Welcome to the Nobama age States going broke...
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:18:44 AM EDT
There's a township car, a city car and a sheriff's car in my neighborhood. The first two are dog crates, the sheriff's car is some kind of ranking officer. I doubt any of 'em pay for the privilege. But I know for a fact the K9s are on call 24/7...
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:19:11 AM EDT
They have a choice. I personally wouldn't want to be "On Call" 24/7 and HAVE to come in just because I didn't want to drive my own car to work. Of course, that would depend on the frequency of calls, they might not call often.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 2:28:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 2:29:54 AM EDT by NathanL]




Originally Posted By kevthebassman:



Originally Posted By retgarr:





Originally Posted By kevthebassman:



Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:



Originally Posted By davekd7ds:

Fuck 'em. Leave the Ctiy cars at the cop shop.




agreed




Same here! Why should they get to commute on the taxpayer's dime?


Because visible presence deters crime. A car in a driveway is having an effect. A car at the station is not.




Any studies done to measure that effect? Any way to prove it? I'm not being a smartass, I honestly would like to know if there's a statistical basis for that.




I used to live in an apartment complex that gave a discount to a policeman from the city if he drove a city police car home so that it was there as "a deterrent". Guy eventually got arrested and fired because he was stealing stuff around the complex....didn't work out so well.



Not sure how common that policy of a discount is however.



They went thru a big ruckus here not long ago about policemen driving their vehicles home. One deputy was living out of the county about 45 miles away (in a very rural area) and they claimed it was a deterrent even tho he had no jurisdiction there.
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