Valdosta police fight fuel costs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta police fight fuel costs

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June 16, 2008

Valdosta - Valdosta Police are doing their part to fight high gas prices.

The City of Valdosta initiated an aggressive 15-step gas saving plan.

In just a month, it saved more than 1300 gallons.

The police department was exempt from the plan but they came up with their own ways cut costs without cutting into your safety.

Valdosta Police are curbing their cruisers.

"We have asked our officers to try and keep the vehicles stationary when at all possible, without circumventing police response and without circumventing patrols in our problem areas," says Cmdr. Brian Childress.

Their walking or biking their beats when possible.  "There will be more bike patrols and more officers will be out walking the shopping centers and doing more foot patrols," says Sgt. Earl Durrance.

"We are going to start doing bike patrols downtown, especially on Friday and Saturday nights," Childress adds.

They also limited off-duty driving, asked officers to carpool and will even start taking some police reports over the phone or through the mail.

"We are trying to identify those calls that we don't have to send an officer to in a police vehicle.  Now you have to be careful there because there's a thin line there when it becomes a public safety issue and when it does not," Childress says.

It's part of a plan to help the department beat the rising prices at the pump.  "We've really taken an aggressive approach to reducing our fuel consumption here at the police department," Durrance says.

And a city wide initiative to battle its effects on the budget.  But with more than 73,000 calls a year, they say public safety comes first.

"When the public calls and they need police assistance, we've got to go!" says Childress.

No matter how high the prices may go, they'll be just a phone call a way.

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