Fleet departments across the country have been dealing with higher fuel prices for several months, as the price of gas continues to increase due to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. Police departments are not immune from these issues.
Here's how several departments are responding.
Michigan Sheriff's Department to Cut Back On Some In-Person Call Responses
The Isabella County, Michigan, Sheriff's Office is cutting back on its in-person call responses. Sheriff Michael Main posted on the department's Facebook page, saying he has instructed deputies to attempt to manage calls that can be handled over the phone. That includes non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, and calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation. He wrote that deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county, and that they will respond in-person to calls that include incidents in progress with active suspects. "I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal," Main wrote.
Ohio PD Conducts "Stationary" Patrols
The South Zanesville, Ohio Police Department reported to Fox News that it had been forced to cut back on patrols due to surging fuel prices. Chief Mark Ross appeared on "Fox & Friends," explaining his department is instead conducting "stationary patrols" to save on fuel when possible. Stationary patrol is when an officer parks his or her patrol car in a visible area, like a parking lot or residential area near a road with high traffic, Ross said. He explained that this raises safety concerns, since officers are now not as visible as they'd like to be. Ross said he expects his department wilsl have to continue to cut back on patrols until fuel prices decrease, despite an increase in budget.
Iowa PD Considering Doubling Up on Officers in Vehicles
Lt. Mark Rehberg of the Clive, Iowa, Police Department said his department is considering putting two people in a car to cut down on the amount of vehicles on the road. He also told WOI-DT that there are certain duties officers can perform, like report writing, with their vehicles turned off in a parking lot to help save fuel. Rehberg said officers may end up taking reports over the phone instead of being sent out to take them in person when possible. He explained that even with these changes, the city is still committed to keeping residents safe.
Missouri PD's Fuel Budget to Increase
The Springfield, Missouri, Police Department is increasing its budget to account for higher fuel prices. More than $126,000 has been added to the department's $32 million budget for the next fiscal year. The extra funding is earmarked for fuel for the department's vehicle fleet, according to the Springfield News-Leader. It brings the total amount of money budgeted for fuel costs to more than $556,000. The City Council is set to vote on the budget in the coming weeks, and it will take effect July 1.
Indiana Sheriff's Office to Request Fuel Budget Increase
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office plans to request up to an additional $100,000 to cover the cost of fuel. Sheriff Duane Burgess told WTHR that he plans to ask the county council for the funding due to the increased prices, saying the prices are "off the charts." The Bargersville Police Department, in the county, is made up of mostly Teslas. Burgess said he is not ready to transition his department to an electric fleet yet, because there are too many unknowns.