CHATTANOOGA, TN - The City of Chattanooga Council approved a resolution to allow officers who live within the City to take home patrol vehicles with no charge. In early January, the City began charging officers fees for taking home vehicles, 20 cents per mile for those who live within the City and 30 cents per mile for those living outside the City. Those who live outside the City will continue paying the take-home vehicle fee.
Mayor Ron Littlefield stated in an agenda session on Jan. 25 that the City can save more money with a parked patrol vehicle than one an officer drives and pays a fee for. Out of 336 take-home vehicles, 184 are assigned to officers living outside the City, and 151 of these are parked. These 151 vehicles represent round-trip mileage of nearly 5,000 miles per year. He said if they remain parked, the City can save about $640,000. He stated that if the vehicles remain parked, those who live in the City can take their cars home, and those who live outside the City and opt to pay the fee can continue to do so, and “that will suffice for the general budget,” according to agenda minutes.
According to Rebecca Royval, public information officer for the Police Department, the City refunded all officers, including those who live outside the City, for fees charged during the mid-January payroll period.
“It’s a continuation of an old policy, so there will be very little effect [on fleet management],” said Fleet Manager Brian Kiesche. “We will notice a slight decrease in fuel, maintenance, and mileage costs from drivers who do not drive their vehicles home.”