Take-Home Police Cars – A Policy Worth Preserving (12/4/12) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Take-Home Police Cars – A Policy Worth Preserving (12/4/12)

Last week, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad instituted a new policy requiring new officers to wait three years instead of only one before being allowed to have a take-home patrol car. This was in response to budget cuts that have forced the department to cut expenditures for new cars.

Metro Council member Tina Ward-Pugh supported the decision, saying "we just don't have the money," and as far as that statement goes, I agree with her.

However, in a follow-up comment she said she doesn't believe take-home cars serve any purpose in deterring neighborhood crime. And that's where I disagree.

Who doesn't feel at least a bit more secure when a police cruiser is parked in the driveway of a home down the block? And who thinks the presence of a police car on the road – even if it's being driven to Wal-Mart on an officer's off-hours – doesn't cause surrounding drivers to be more attentive?

Having said that, you can't spend money you don't have, and that's why I think Chief Conrad is right in his decision. For now. But unlike Ms. Ward-Pugh, I think that when times get better – and they will – the general public will benefit from providing even more take-home cars for our officers.

Financial realities make it necessary to delay even good ideas from time to time.  But let's make sure this one isn't completely abandoned.

Call and tell us what you think.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.

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