KSP budget to limit patrols

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ShawnCowden

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KSP budget to limit patrols

Rising gas prices leave KSP parked

By Brad Hicks / Staff Writer CORBIN TIMES TRIBUNE

High fuel prices continue to take a toll on the wallets of millions of Americans. Now, gas prices may affect the protection ensured to them, as officials from the state level have asked posts of the Kentucky State Police to limit their number of patrols.

“They’ve requested that due to high gas prices and due to budgetary constraints of the state that are going on that we reduce fuel consumption,” said Public Affairs Officers Don Trosper with the London Post of the KSP.

Trosper said gasoline is one of the highest expenditures for police departments. When the state issues a budget, funds are set aside for fuel costs for the KSP. But because fuel prices have risen more than $1 a gallon since the state last issued a budget two years ago, statewide posts of the Kentucky State Police have been asked to reduce the number of patrols, Trosper said.

“Unfortunately, with gas prices rising to over $3 a gallon, we’ve been asked to cut back,” he said.

Right now, the reduction efforts are in the recommendations phase. A list of suggestions sent to each post includes recommendations to not warm up the cruiser before leaving; make sure the cruiser is in good condition, such as keeping the tires inflated and air filter changed; carpool when able to do so; and adhere to the speed limit.

Another recommendation was performing patrols on a more stationary basis, with cruisers sitting in one location to observe an area, as opposed to driving around.

“We’re trying to conserve as much as possible,” said Lt. Phil Crumpton, spokesperson for the KSP. “The costs are higher than what the budget was originally set for.”

Crumpton said the goal is to get the posts to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent. Consumption will be monitored by the post commanders who will report information on their respective post’s fuel habits.

“It’s just going to be observed at this point within each post and we’ll see where that takes us from there,” Crumpton said.

With troopers on patrol, the police are able to more quickly respond to incidents such as reports of people driving under the influence and burglaries by having officers in the vicinity, Trosper said. Limiting these patrols could adversely affect these response times.

“Being out on patrol and in the community is a plus for us,” Trosper said.

However, Trosper said the reduction in patrols will not be significant, and citizens should not notice a change. KSP will still be available to respond to service calls when needed.

“It will not affect service calls,” he said. “Those are top priority. Anything that someone needs an officer for, we will have them respond to that. Anything that requires police presence, an officer will be there.”
 
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