San Diego Audit Recommends Reducing Number of Police, Fire Vehicles

July 14, 2011

SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego’s city auditor’s office issued a report that reviewed the City’s take-home vehicle use and stated that it is not sufficiently monitoring use of these vehicles.

Out of the City’s fleet of 4,200 vehicles and equipment, the report said the City assigns 347 vehicles to employees to take home the vehicles nightly. Of that 347, 277 vehicles are used by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and 48 are used by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFRD).

The report said the City could save $569,000 annually and maintain the ability to respond to emergencies by eliminating 76 vehicles in the fleet. The City spent $2.1 million on commute-only miles in 2010.

In addition, the report found the City does not have policies and procedures to review fuel card use. The audit did not find any instances of fuel-card fraud or abuse, though.

A news story on NBC San Diego’s website had comments from City officials during an audit commission meeting. Assistant Police Chief David Ramirez said he is already looking at eliminating some vehicles but that he is concerned about officers’ ability to respond to emergencies. He did agree that the department can be more efficient and eliminate some vehicles.

By Greg Basich

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