PTC police, fire officers may pay for city cars

Wed, 03/04/2009 - 2:09pm
By: The Citizen

A proposal to be considered tomorrow night by the Peachtree City Council would add a charge for all police and fire employees who take their vehicles home outside the city limits.

There would be no cost for those employees who live inside the city, according to the proposed policy. Others, however, would pay a fee varying from $30 a month to $100 a month depending on how far away they live.

The changes are estimated to offset vehicle expenses by $25,800 for the police department and $2,860 for the fire department, officials said.

The fire department has seven vehicles issued to command staff. Before the police department moved back into its newly-renovated facility, all officers were allowed to take home cars if they lived within 30 miles of the city because of the lack of adequate or secure parking at the temporary police headquarters.

The current police take home vehicle program includes command staff, criminal investigations personnel and officers who live in the city, for a total of 26 take home vehicles, police said.

For the fire and police department, take-home vehicles are touted as improving vehicle maintenance since employees can be held accountable as the only vehicle driver, city staffers have said. Take-home vehicles also improve response times for emergency situations, particularly when personnel must be called in to work while off duty, officials said.

The memo cited several examples of off-duty police officers using their take-home vehicle to respond to calls while either just after ending their shift or while reporting for the beginning of their shift. Those calls included a fight in progress, a robbery in progress and a domestic dispute with a firearm involved. In all but one case, regular officers were tied up with other calls.

City officials said the fire department take-home vehicles are also used so staff can respond directly to emergency scenes. Such employees include the fire marshal and assistant fire marshal who investigate fire scenes, senior duty officers and the training captain. The take-home fire vehicles also allow for quicker staffing of the city’s emergency operations center when it is activated, officials said.

Both the police and fire department say their take-home vehicle program improves morale also.

Fire employees issued take-home vehicles include two employees living inside the city, four living between five and 10 miles away and one employee who lives 24 miles away, officials said.

When the full take-home vehicle program was in use, police employees issued take-home vehicles included 16 employees within the city, 24 employees between five and 10 miles away, 20 employees between 10 and 20 miles away and two employees more than 20 miles away (one living 20.1 miles away and the other being 25.9 miles away).

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Submitted by Money minder on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 11:00am.

let them take the vehicles home ( fire and Police) just instead of a $50,000 ford excursion or a $40,000 Dodge or Ford Crown Vic. put them in a $18,000 PT cruiser. Put the 200 flashing lights on each vehicle and send them on their way. They can get from home to the scene of the fire or crime in the same ammount of time. Lower insurance, better fuel milage, for the smaller cars that will save the tax payers some money.

Submitted by Bonkers on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 3:06pm.

Well, they don't run down many anymore at 100 MPH. It is one of those many things to make up for low pay. Are captains, and up paid low? How many do we have?
Actually the London bobbies walk the beat with a stick.
They call a guy with a car if they need one.
A sub station is required every half mile however. (kilometer and an eighth)

Why do senior officers and firemen get a car? Do they answer midnight emergency calls from home? Very often.

Just how often is more needed from home here? Is everyone nearly on the day shift?

Submitted by jeep2 on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 11:01pm.

This has been hashed and rehashed over and over again with regards to "take home vehicles" If a member of the fire/police dept. is required to respond, ie "on call", from home at any given time, the employee should have a city vehicle at their home, no matter what the mileage is. And from which point to which point was mileage determined for the mandate? No mention of that in the article. To charge a city employee a fee for a vehicle that they will need to use is ludicrous. Most employees with any company and any on call duties are usually paid a stipend. With public safety, they are expected to be available 24/7 with no stipend. Are we really going to belittle the value that our police and fire department have in our community by charging a fee for a vehicle that is essential to the job? If you want to be fair about it, lets give the police and fire "on call" happens in most businesses where someone is expected to be available. I've said it before and will say it again; Raise taxes and if,as predicted,it will add a meager $200 per home to maintain what we have. Its time the citizens of this city, and the politicians, quit laying the burden of the budget deficit on our city employees, (with a trickle down effect to the citizens). We have already laid off 23 Public Works employees (who got called back mind you..where were the "outsourced" employees of the company who would take their jobs?)
Mysteryman, thanks for the humor in saying the police would have to pay for their bullets. Are we going to charge the firefighters for the water they use? We need to look at the big picture here and unfortunately, many have blinders on.

Submitted by Titum Gan Eiri Ort on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 10:33pm.

I am just laughing at all these recommendation from the City Manager with the Mayor's blessing about issues dealing with the police department and saving money on thier backs. If I remember it correctly, he was arrest by this police department for DRUNK DRIVING. My God what do you expect him to do but to get even when he can. You notice he said nothing about doing away with his yearly bonus which would be about the same savings as it costs for the cops to take their cars home. I find it hard to belive we have a City Manager arrested by his police department and he still is their boss. My God folks what is going on in Peachtree City.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 8:53am.


Submitted by mysteryman on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 9:22pm.

What if you boss charged you to come to work, or 25% of your take home pay kicked back to the company, this is madness, these people work for chump change, and put there lives on the line everday to keep your sorry a-- safe and secure while you nuzzle mamas t-t, get real people if it was not for law enforcement this place would be Dodge City or Beirut. We already have enough desporados kickin in doors, and stabbin and grabbin. Next time you call 911 i hope you get put on hold....PEACE

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 7:03pm.

Vehicle take homes.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by nepotism on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 9:23pm.

The article you linked to states: The officer must live within the city limits of East Peoria in order to keep the squad car at his residence. So even an article in a police magazine (which would be partial to police I would think) gave an example of them having to live in the city limits, so it would make sense to only offer the "Take home the squad car program" for city residents. It shouldn't be allowed for non residents of ptc. Why give them an option of charging them, it doesn't make sense and none of them will do it anyway, they will feel slighted that they have to pay now. Most officers can't afford to live in PTC so it will probably prevent most of them from taking the vehicles home anyway so don't even offer the program for non residents. It also seems like a waste of staff time to have to deduct the vehicle fee, keep track of how many miles somebody lives from PTC, then if somebody moves they will have to change it again, creating a form, having the attorney review the form, just too much time spent on a pay to drive program.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 9:33pm.

to do bookkeeping wise. Cities/Counties have been doing it for years.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 6:03pm.

There's no telling how much the drive homes cost the taxpayers. Hey, I'd pay a nominal fee to use someone else's car, maintenance and gas, who wouldn't???

It's a sweetheart deal and the police and firefighters should jump at it.

Vote Republican

Submitted by Biggis101 on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 6:26pm.

Fayetteville, Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Tyrone, Senoia, Coweta, Clayton County P.D., Riverdale, etc.... and most of all the other law enforcement agencies around here all let there police officers take their cars home at no charge. I hear no complaints about them. Oh, and since you can't read they gave the figure of what it costs the taxpayers in the article.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 7:41pm.

What the heXX does that mean anyway......."just saying?"

Say it!

Submitted by forklifterz on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 5:54pm.

I understand that the city doesn't want police officers to abuse their vehicle privileges, but charging them when they take their vehicle home? there must a better way to cut cost in the police and fire departments without deterring morale and especially quality law enforcement.




Submitted by nepotism on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 6:23pm.

It shouldn't be allowed period. Just make a policy to allow only PTC residents to take the vehicles home. How much staff time will it take to figure out the mileage and bill the employees? One minute of staff time is too much, just make a policy not to allow it for non PTC residents. This isn't a shady car dealership, this is government. Wait that was an oxymoron.

Submitted by enotsm19 on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 10:37am.

Ok nepotism, lets say they do that....when there is an emergency in the middle of the night, an officer living outside the city gets called in to work, ie SRT, CID. That officer doesn't have a take home vehicle so they have to your time and money to drive all the way to the station and get ready and get in the vehicles. Instead, depending on the incident they could respond right to the scene of the crime. I don't know, but I don't see how 60 dollars taken from a pay check each month justifies, 281.4 miles extra miles. I think it should be simple. If you live within 15 miles of the police department you can be provided a take home vehicle. Anything further then that would have to gain approval and incur a possible charge. So you pay these officers very little, then say they can have a take home vehicle because they live outside of the city that they spend protecting every single day, simply because they can't afford it.

Submitted by DeltaV on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 5:12pm.

Peachtree City going to start charging their public safety employees to park when they come to work? Or charge them for their uniforms and equipment?

Submitted by whynot on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 10:22pm.

Here is your real problem PTC. You shouldn't have citizens posting comments about government issues when they don't have all the facts. That's right, the government employees aren't at your job raising hell every time you take a 20 minute smoke break. Second of all, it is real weird to have a local politician continually post in a newspaper that is full of anger filled blogs that tend to become heated. The majority of officials would know that is taboo.

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