Gas prices impacting local police patrol cars

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 9:46 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Police patrol cars are starting to pay the price at the pump, as high gas costs are impacting local law enforcement agencies.

For the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, that may mean less special training sessions for officers.

Major Clay Hammac with the department said their deputies can put anywhere from 150 to 200 miles on their patrol cars in a single shift. Hammac said when they aren’t responding to 911 calls, they are still actively patrolling and driving the area took for any illegal activity. That can burn a lot of gas, but Hammac said they don’t plan to be out in the community less.

“If you call 911, we are still coming,” Hammac said.

The county commission pays for the department’s fuel, but to make up for the high prices, Hammac said they will need to cut from their training budget.

The State of Alabama has mandatory training for police, and Hammac said they will not cut from that training. He said the department doesn’t want to pull officers off the roads or have any impact to response times, but it will impact specialty trainings.

“Cyber security threats or other online threats, where we need to make sure our criminal investigators and our evidence technicians are properly trained on how to respond to those type of increasing or evolving trends, we may pull back just a little bit,” Hammac said.

Hammac said the county is working with the department on the rising fuel costs and residents likely wont notice any changes. He said at any given time, there will still be around 50 officers patrolling the county, regardless of gas prices. That includes each city’s police departments and the sheriff’s office.


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