Gas Prices Factor in Law Enforcement Decisions

Gas Prices Factor in Law Enforcement Decisions
By: Ryan Tate
Union County Sheriff Jim Nash says going over budget for gas is nothing new for his department, but where they are right now is startling.
Nash says the department has spent $4,500 more on gas so far this year, compared to this time last year. His budget is around $22,000. They have already spent between $11,000-$12,000. The Sheriff says that is what they spent for gas the entire year back in 2002.
"It changes some of the things we do," Nash said. "Earlier this week, we got a call from investigators in Kansas City and Chicago about people arrested for misdemeanor offenses. We had to decide if it was worth driving up there to get them or not," Nash said.
The gas prices effect other departments as well. According to Perry County, Missouri, Sheriff Gary Schaff says they have more than 800 miles of roads to patrol in the county. They continue to respond to all calls, but he is asking his deputies to be a little more conservative. They also continue patrolling, but are now parking in "hot spots" to monitor the county.
Sheriff Nash says some of night shift patrols now double-up on slow nights, to conserve on gas.