Some members of the Asheboro Police Department get free gas and a vehicle to drive to and from work, or at least it is no cost to the officer. With gas prices hitting close to $4.00 a gallon and they are expected to keep going up, this would seem to be an expensive price to pay for the taxpayers for most of these officers. These officers have a city owned car and they drive them home from work. Most taxpayers have to pay for their gas and maintenance of vehicles to drive to and from work.
When asked, Captain James Smith with the Asheboro Police Department would not give the mileage from the police department to the any of the officer’s homes for the take home vehicles or to where the take home vehicles were being parked when the officer was not working. Captain Smith explained that the police department does not capture that information anywhere in their records. Because it is not captured then the police department does not have to give that information out in regards to the public information law. Since this mileage is not captured, the police department would have no way to know their actual cost of the take-home cars.
In looking at the policy and procedures of the police department an officer is only required to live within 30 minutes travel time of the police department and it does not matter how many miles he drives. That amount of travel time could actually have the officer living outside of Randolph County. There are officers that live within the city limits that do not have take home cars while other officers that live outside the city limits do have take home cars. Captain Smith would not release information as to how many officers lived in or outside the city limits of Asheboro.
If an officer lives within the city limits, he or she could stop violators because they are sworn and paid by the city of Asheboro to enforce the laws. For those officers that have take home vehicles and live outside the city limits, they do not have arrest authority empowered by the city of Asheboro since the jurisdiction stops where the city limits stop. The officer that lives outside the city limits drives to and from work at the expense of the city.
Verified information from sources show that two officers that live between Ramseur and Asheboro live 4.8 miles from the city limits of Asheboro. They live 6.4 miles from the Asheboro Police Department. Another officer that lives in Randleman lives 2.3 miles from the city limits of Asheboro. That officer lives 8.0 miles from the Asheboro Police Department.
These three officers have take-home vehicles and these vehicles will be driven 4,838 miles in 1 year just to take these officers to and from work. If this mileage were an average for take home vehicles, in one year the mileage for the entire take home vehicle fleet would be 266,090 miles. If the average gas mileage of the cars were 15 miles to the gallon and the cost of the gas is $4.00 per gallon, the cost to the taxpayers would be almost $80,000.00. The taxpayers will pay for the additional maintenance and gas for the additional mileage on these vehicles. (If you know of an Asheboro police car that is parked outside of the Asheboro city limits email that location to me at the email address below. I may use the information that you provide in a follow-up article).
According to information that was given through the public information law the following statistics was obtained from the Asheboro Police Department. All of this information was a request for information for the time period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
Seventeen supervisors have take-home vehicles. Out of these supervisors, only five of them were called out last year.
There are 58 officers including the supervisors that have take home vehicles. The only divisions that that were called out to work outside of their scheduled hours to work was the Criminal Investigation Division, K-9 and the SWAT team. The total number of times last year that an officer was called out was 153 times. The 153 times were with 28 officers, less than half of the total of officers that have take home vehicles. These call outs are broken down by divisions.
Criminal Investigation Division
The total number of times these officers were called out was 93 times. The number of officers called out was 10 officers.
- The lieutenant was called out 10 times.
- The sergeant was called out 1 time.
- 2 officers were called out just 1 time for the entire year.
- 1 officer was called out 2 times.
- 2 officers were called out 3 times.
- 1 officer was called out 5 times.
- 1 officer was called out 28 times.
- 1 officer was called out 39 times.
What stands out is that there are 2 officers in double digits being called out and there are 6 officers that were called out for a total of only 6 times. All of these officers have vehicles that they drive home.
The K-9 Unit
These officers were called out 5 times for the year. There are three officers in this unit. These officers have to have a take home vehicle since they have their dogs to transport when they are working and the dogs remain with the officers at home when the officers do not work.
The total number of times that these officers were called out was 55 times. There were a total of 15 officers that were called out. 14 of these officers have a take home vehicles. 1 officer has a shared vehicle.
- There was 1 officer that was called out 1 time.
- There were 3 officers that were called out 2 times; the sergeant was one of these officers.
- There were 3 officers that were called out 3 times
- 3 officers were called out 4 times.
- There were 3 officers that were called out 5 times; the lieutenant was one of these officers.
- 2 officers were called out 6 times.
In looking at the information that was given by the Asheboro police department and with the rising gas prices along with the expense of buying police cars so that 58 officers can have a take home car, it may be a good time for the city council to re-address take home vehicles for the police department.
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