FORT WAYNE, IN – Local government officials are trying to balance the benefits and costs of take home vehicles for Allen County employees and Fort Wayne City Police. The county has cut take home vehicles by 40 percent since 2002, according to www.indianasnewscenter.com.
Records obtained by Indiana’s NewsCenter show the non-business miles put on the 77 county take home vehicles still in use total just under 270-thousand miles for a year. At 20 miles to the gallon, that costs taxpayers more than $42,000, not counting gas consumption for business use of those vehicles.
The county’s take-home vehicle policy and procedures manual says that an employee can’t have a take-home car if the amount of miles they drive to and from work, the commuting miles, exceed the business miles put on it. However, the NewsCenter investigation revealed nine of the county take-home vehicles are currently violating that policy.
County officials said they will “continue to look at that, and we’ll continue to pare the policy down as we go on.”The City of Fort Wayne has trimmed its non-public safety fleet in 2004 from 45 down to 8, which has saved about $50,000 a year in fuel alone. However, the real expense incurred by the city regarding take-home vehicles comes from the police department. More than 400 officers are assigned a take home car, and within the county lines officers have essentially unlimited use of their vehicles. But, that gas consumption costs city taxpayers.
So, Chief Rusty York is now considering a policy change that would greatly limit officers’ use of their cruiser while off duty.