The Wilmington Police Department’s vehicle assignment program is governed by a six-page policy, which guides the 220 police officers who take cruisers home from work.
Officers fuel their cars at city gas stations, which costs $59,000 annually, according to an e-mail from Lucy Crockett, spokeswoman for the police department.
Crockett notes the cost of fuel is offset by documented savings from the program.
An average officer spends 20 minutes each driving to and from work each day. Taking a patrol car home allows officers to respond to emergency calls and dispatchers while they drive to or from work, Crockett noted.
Officers add 12,200 patrol hours each year by taking their cruisers home. Those patrol hours would cost the city $189,954 to make up for.
Since January, officers responded to 467 calls while driving to and from work.
The program also controls cost for maintaining police cruisers. The average life of a pool car is four to five years or 90,000 miles. The average life of a take-home cruiser is eight years or more than 100,000 miles. In 2003, the average maintenance cost on a marked car was $2,400, which has declined to $2,100 per car in 2009 for take-home cruisers.The program is restricted to officers who live within a 15-mile radius of the Wilmington city limits.
Date posted: June 29, 2010
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