There could soon be a few changes in the issuance of patrol cars at the Tallassee Police Department as the Tallassee City Council is considering allowing officers to travel to and from home in their assigned patrol cars.
According to councilmember David Stough, this could cut down on response time.
“Sometimes the officers have to drive past the scene to the police station just to get into a patrol car,” Stough said. “I think that assigning the officers a patrol car would stop some of that.”
Police chief Matthew Higgins said statistics show officers take better care of a patrol car when it assigned to them.
There are several advantages to take-home car programs. It’s much easier and faster to mobilize off-duty officers in an emergency. This is especially critical for smaller agencies that don’t have more than a few officers on duty at one time.
Police presence is expanded by having the patrol car in neighborhoods distant from the police station.
The patrol car doubles as officers’ equipment lockers. They can carry more personal gear because they don’t have to schlep it from lockers or their personal cars to a shared patrol car every day.
Patrol cars last much longer because the officers take better care of them because they have to live with any damage done to them. Officers will often spend considerable off-duty time cleaning, polishing and otherwise maintaining the car. The cars are driven less often than if they were shared between officers.
An officer can set up the car to his or her liking. This is a huge benefit when you spend 10 to 12 hours per working day in the car.
Currently, this is only a consideration. The council will revisit the topic at the Oct. 22 regular council meeting at city hall.