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Opening Arguments

Beating the cost of gas

Here's at least one good effect of high gas prices:

With gasoline climbing toward $4 a gallon, police officers around the country are losing the right to take their patrol cars home and are being forced to double up in cruisers and walk the beat more.

The gas crunch could also put an end to the time-honored way cops leave their engines running when they get out to investigate something.

Some police chiefs think the moneysaving measures are not all bad, and might actually help them do a better job.

Cop on the hoof beats cop in the car for cop getting to know the neighborood and letting the residents get to know the cop. Take-home cars, I dunno. They say their presence in neighborhoods deters crime, but only if the officer lives in hihg-crime neighborhoods, and I don't think most of them do.


Larry Morris
Fri, 05/23/2008 - 4:48pm

Now that cities are so large and sprawling, and police have for decades gotten used to patrolling huge areas, isn't the "cop walking the beat" something that we just don't have enough cops to do any more ?

Bob G.
Sat, 05/24/2008 - 4:13pm

Ah. leo...one of *my* favorite subjects...

I remember a time in Philly, when the cop DID walk the beat, crossed us as we went to and from school, and knew EVERYONE'S name....what better way to know a NEIGHBORHOOD than BY it's residents.

And that worked real well.

Sadly, we have officers here today that need assistance getting to a call because they don't even know the streets. Maybe that's why Spillman's doing the GPS gig.
(and anyone with a radio monitor knows that FWPD computers in cars are having problems daily as well)
We can't EVEN get BICYCLE OFFICERS in our area during the summer (I know, because I TRIED)...what's that tell you?

Let's say when it comes to having FWPD officers taking their cars HOME...they sure aren't any that I can see in MY part of "da hood".
If there are ANY on the southeast side of town, they're either garage-kept, or living near the outskirts of th ecity limits, but I have NEVER seen any living around here in the 10+ years I HAVE lived here.
And that's sad...very sad. Even the police have given up on living in parts of the city.
(at least you know what I deal with daily).

As to taking the cars home...make them PAY for them incrementally.
If you still live IN the city (proper) than you cough up $10 a paycheck. From 1-10 miles outside of town, make it $20, and anywhere FURTHER out than that...$25.
Doesn't get any easier than that.

I undertsand that officers don't want to put their families "at risk" by living in blighted areas, but how am *I* supposed to raise MY family then, hmm?

I say it's time to TAKE BACK neighborhoods, by making it EASIER for LEOs, firefighters, and military personnel to move INTO areas like ours. The houses could be refurbished for a HELLUVA lot LESS than building new ones they can't afford, the city gets tax dollars back, they get a nice home, and our neighborhood thrive AGAIN.

Like I said...simple.

But the city doesn't want that, I suppose.