The village police department feels a drop in the price of gasoline


With gas prices hovering around $5 a gallon in the area, village police departments are wary of their budgets.

South Zanesville Police Department Chief Mark Ross said some of the money to be used for equipment purchases now goes into the gas budget. “We have been informed by our village clerk that we are going to have to start tightening our belts,” he said. The village increased the department’s gas budget from $6,800 in 2021 to $10,000 in 2022. His department has already spent more than $3,500 through May, and Ross expects fuel to exceed $11,000 this year.

To combat this, Ross said that department will need to limit driving, what he calls stationary patrols. Instead of navigating neighborhoods, he said officers would stop and survey an area with the cruiser off instead of idling, then move on to another area.

Ross said he thinks rising petrol prices run counter to the Village 4 Mill Tax to fund an extra officer, which failed in May. He said the village had dropped plans to put him back on the ballot in November.

Captain and Deputy Chief Josh Weaver of the Roseville Police Department said he uses community policing techniques to stay more visible and save money on gas.

“I walk and talk to people more than I drive as much,” he said. Instead of slowly cruising through neighborhoods, which doesn’t result in the best gas mileage, he said, he’ll pull over and turn off his vehicle and turn off the equipment inside to save fuel. fuel while on the move. He has his portable radio to keep in touch and never strays too far from his car, but “try to be more aware, knowing how gas prices are,” he said.

Turning off the cruiser is not as easy as it seems. Frazeysburg Police Chief Eliasha Bourne said “the complication with this is that we have the equipment we need to keep cool, the officers we need to keep cool. It’s a balance exercise, not to waste, but also to take care of the equipment we have.”

His department plans $10,000 a year for fuel for his three cruisers, and if the price of gasoline stays around $5 a gallon, the department is on course to top that figure by $2,000. “I posted a memo to turn off the car if they’re not in it, reduce the number of mobile patrols, and if they’re stationary, turn off the car.

“It’s early enough in the year to mitigate that, but if it comes at the end of the year and we’re timid, we’ll stop doing patrols,” he said.

“At the moment we’re just eating the extra cost,” Dresden chef Scott Caldwell said. “It will definitely affect next year’s budget,” he said. “We have to have gas to do our job, one way or another.”

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