City Mulls Charging Officers For Take-Home Car Gas

Surcharge Hasn't Been Enforced

With gas prices on the rise again, the cost of fuel may soon be passed along to police officers with take-home cars.

Last year, Indianapolis police spent nearly $6.8 million on fuel driving a collective 27 million miles, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

Since 2009, the city has had an ordinance that would allow the administration to impose a gas surcharge on officers when gas prices hit $3 a gallon, but even though gas hit that mark months ago, the city never invoked the surcharge.

"There's been conversation about the surcharge for gas. I do believe that it will go into effect," Public Safety Director Frank Straub told RTV6.

Under the current ordinance, the city could charge officers for the cost of one fill-up per month, or $51 per officer.

It could reduce the department's annual fuel bill by more than 15 percent.

"I do think it needs to be looked at long term, and we need to move something forward in terms of reducing costs in this area," said Republican City-County Councilor Ben Hunter, the director of public safety at Butler University. "Government cannot continue to bleed in this area."

The Fraternal Order of Police union is also on board.

"I think our philosophy is if the fuel surcharge would help offset some of the fuel costs on the ability to utilize the police vehicle off-duty, then we would support that," said FOP President Sgt. Bill Owensby.

Straub said the department is also looking at some tighter restrictions for the take-home car program.

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