GREENVILLE, NC - Complaints and questions about City of Greenville, N.C., Police Department patrol cars parked at local businesses were addressed by City Council member Calvin Mercer. He informed his constituents that most take-home vehicles cannot be driven home if the home is outside city limits, and are instead parked at businesses to increase police visibility, according to The Daily Reflector.

Mercer said the "complaints and queries" he received from people about the topic prompted him to seek and receive the following official explanation from Chief William Anderson:

"The marked vehicles parked at local businesses, primarily 24-hour convenience stores, are part of our take home vehicle program. These vehicles are assigned to patrol officers who live outside the city limits. We do not allow marked vehicles to be driven home outside our city limits unless the officers are part of a special unit that requires specific equipment that is maintained in the vehicle. Example: traffic and K-9 officers. Officers who live inside the city are allowed to take their vehicles home. This serves to increase our visibility in neighborhoods where the officers live. Marked vehicles that are assigned to officers who live outside the city serve as a crime deterrent at the businesses where they are located. This program has been in place for more than three years, and we have had very few incidents of crime where the vehicles are parked. We also have had only a couple of incidents where the vehicles suffered minor damage while parked at these locations. In addition, it also takes some of the strain off our current parking situation at the police department."