ROCHESTER, NY – Having already eliminated more than 30 take-home cars, the city now is looking at 80 more — a move that would hit the Police Department hardest, taking back cars assigned to undercover officers, homicide detectives and others, according to www.democratandchronicle.com.
These vehicles are provided around the clock at taxpayers’ expense, intended for those who can be called out at any time, whether to a crime scene or a water main break. Government officials argue that the take-home cars are necessary. But some of them arguably are perks, built up over the years and cemented by tradition or labor contracts.
Mayor Robert Duffy began reducing the city fleet last year to cut costs. He rescinded six take-home cars and focused more on pool vehicles. This year, however, with labor negotiations under way with police and fire, the focus is on take-home vehicles. Duffy wants to cut the take-home fleet by 73 percent citywide, from 153 to 41.
Thirteen take-home city vehicles recalled this year are being sold at auction, providing a $290,000 annual savings in capital and operating costs. The remaining 80 vehicles that might be recalled across all departments are tied up in labor contracts.