Arcade Police Chief Randy Williams is facing an ongoing battle and it is one that may not end in the near future.
It’s not a criminal element within the city Williams is dealing with, rather the increase in the cost of fuel.
The police chief has outline a detailed plan for the city council on ways his department is attempting to save on fuel. Currently, the police department is budgeted for $4,000 per month for fuel, but Williams said once the price reaches $4 per gallon, his department will have to spend $4,476 per month. If the price reaches $4.25 per gallon, that amount would go to $4,755.
In a memo to the city council, Williams said some agencies, such as the DeKalb County Police, have gone as far as taking away home cars for officers who live outside the county.
“We are not to this point and that is why we need to address the issue now and voluntarily conserve fuel now and in the future,” the chief said. “It would be foolish not to address it before it becomes a problem.”
One of the measures Williams is proposing to place a 25-mile radius around the city and having officers who live outside that radius find a government facility and secure their patrol cars there after shifts.
“We are also going to be looking at training opportunities in the surrounding counties so we do not have to drive hours for training, which burns up fuel,” he said.
As a last resort, the department would take away the home car privilege. Williams does not want to take that action since home car privilege is a great incentive for employment and it would be “horrible” to have to lose it.
“But once again, we need to do all we can to conserve fuel, which saves money and jobs,” the chief said.
Williams is also encouraging his officers to engage in the following:
• shop around for gas to find lowest prices.
• utilize stationary radar more than moving radar.
• cut down on the amount of times they patrol Trotters Ridge subdivision, which is off Jefferson River Road and not accessible directly from the city.
• slow down and do not drive vehicles like they are “scalded dogs.”
• when on calls, cut off emergency lights when they are not needed.