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Take-home cars and $4 gas
The Fairfax County Police Department sends 370 vehicles home every day with employees, many to localities as far afield as Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.
This article in The Washington Post shows that Fredericksburg isn’t the only locality to have to question take-home vehicles in light of rising gas prices and dwindling revenues.
From the Post story:
For many years, Fairfax has had no policy governing how far a take-home car could go or how it could be used when an officer was off duty. That allowed the cars to be taken on hunting or fishing trips, officers said. Some officers who have a take-home car don’t have a personal vehicle.
Fairfax Police Chief David M. Rohrer is creating rules about the location and use of take-home cars, and an e-mail he sent to officers recently said that some of them might have to seek "alternative transportation or a personal vehicle if they have been dependent on a take-home vehicle."
Fredericksburg currently sends 38 of its 114 passenger vehicles home overnight with employees. But until three days after a May FOI request from The Free Lance-Star, its parks, recreation and public facilities department was sending 14 home. It now sends one home on a regular basis, and three more on a rotating on-call basis. (See this story.)
The Post’s story also shows where NoVa localities are getting their employees:
Michael Thompson, president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, said long-distance driving not only runs up gas and maintenance costs but also adds mileage to the vehicles so that new cars must be bought sooner. "If they’re taking them home to Fredericksburg and back, there’s something about that that doesn’t sit well," Thompson said.