The Albuquerque (N.M.) Police Department is hoping to increase its visibility by relaxing the rules of its take-home vehicle program.
Currently, police officers that successfully complete one year of probation will be issued a patrol vehicle for use during working hours. Officers must live within the boundaries established by the Chief of Police and are responsible for following certain restrictions.
According to city policy, officers are only permitted to use their take-home vehicle while on call or traveling to and from physical training. They are not authorized to transport any passengers other than approved ride-alongs and dropping off their children to and from school or daycare while en route to and from work.
Albuquerque PD is now rewriting its policy, and plans to lessen these restrictions in hope that squad cars will have a larger presence in the community as a deterrent for crime, reports KRQE. A spokesman for the agency told KQRE that many officers coach youth league teams and are involved in faith-based organizations, and the new policy may allow officers to use their squad cars in these scenarios. The new policy is expected to be completed by July.