Two-way Street? – When it comes to take-home vehicles, both sides of the debate are well represented

June 24, 2009
By

There has been an ongoing debate going on at City Hall between Police Chief Terence Reardon and former Police Officer Charlie Patch, now Councilor Patch and Mayor Thomas Ambrosino.

Patch believes giving commanding officers what turns out to be private automobiles to drive to their homes at the city’s expense is a waste of money.

The police chief has argued otherwise, claiming those who drive automobiles home might be called to duty and would need the police car to respond.

Patch and the council have cut from the budget the $150,000 set aside to finance the automobiles for commanding officers.

The mayor has reversed that bit of legislation by ordering the money back into the budget.

The question is this – do the highest paid officers in the city, many of whom live in other communities – need city automobiles in order to do their jobs with the department?

Also, the rationale is that police cars parked in the community where police officers live reduces crime.

If our police cruisers are being driven to communities other than ours, whose community is it that has improved public safety because of our taxpayers’ expenses?

Lastly, the other reason given for higher-ups to have their own automobiles is because they are first responders.

One wonders, how many times in a year do our highest officers respond in their automobiles as first responders?

That said, $150,000 is small potatoes out of a $200 million budget.

But when the time comes when $150,000 doesn’t mean anything to our public officials, well, that indicates that big troubles lie ahead.

  • Voter

    Patch is absolutely right on this issue. Why my taxes are being used to give free gas to Guido and others is absurd. Let $150,000 a year Guido pay for his own gas, insurance, and maintaince.

  • Voter

    Patch is absolutely right on this issue. Why my taxes are being used to give free gas to Guido and others is absurd. Let $150,000 a year Guido pay for his own gas, insurance, and maintaince.

  • nancy owens

    We are in the midst of a financial crisis. Every item in every department should be cut by a percentage that the council determines. There are always ways to reduce spending without damage to services. The cops want cars? Let them have thier cars as long as they pay the insurance for 10 hours per day and the gas and the maintance. If the rare emergency occurs and cars are needed workers can fill out a requesition to get the gas and insurance money credited back into a pay check.

  • nancy owens

    We are in the midst of a financial crisis. Every item in every department should be cut by a percentage that the council determines. There are always ways to reduce spending without damage to services. The cops want cars? Let them have thier cars as long as they pay the insurance for 10 hours per day and the gas and the maintance. If the rare emergency occurs and cars are needed workers can fill out a requesition to get the gas and insurance money credited back into a pay check.

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