MORGANTON, NC - City of Morganton, N.C., public safety officers who now take home their patrol cars can continue to do so. However, the rules will change for any officer hired after July 1, for officers who aren't currently assigned a take-home car, or for officers who move further away from headquarters, according to The News Herald.

The Morganton City Council adopted guidelines for its take-home vehicle policy on August 2.

If an officer who now lives outside the city limits or a 5-mile radius of public safety headquarters moves further from headquarters, he or she will lose his or her take-home car, according to the guidelines.

An officer hired after July 1 or who currently doesn't have a take-home car will have to live within the city limits or a 5-mile radius of public safety headquarters to get a take-home car.

The guidelines to the policy encourage those officers who could be called back in an emergency to live as close to the city as possible, according to information from the city.

Concern about competing for recruits with other towns that have take-home policies was brought up, but it was stated that neighboring cities have take-home policies similar to Morganton's current policy.

The number of cars within the program is 50, with 14 of the cars driven by officers living in the city limits, according to The News Herald.