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City, Police Consider Reinstating Personal-Use Policy For Cruisers

Bill Slone

Lexington police are considering reinstating a home fleet policy allowing officers to use their patrol cars for personal use.

But the privilege would come with a fee.

Lexington police had removed the personal-use policy as a cost-cutting measure included in a 2012 collective bargaining agreement. Now, city officials are saying the move was a disappointment in that regard, saving just over a fourth of the $800,000 originally projected.

Scott Shapiro, a senior advisor to Mayor Jim Gray, told the Public Safety Committee Tuesday that a study showed no increase in crime as a result of the change. But council member Kevin Stinnett challenged that conclusion, saying numerous situations would not show up in the city’s crime statistics.

"Far too often I've seen when an off-duty officer was at a baseball park and a situation was diffused because they were there. I've seen far too often someone break down and an officer come to their aid and assist," he told the committee.

The new plan being floated by the city would charge officers $50 a month to begin using their vehicles for personal use again.

The Fraternal Order of Police and the city have been working for the past six months to re-instate the policy.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.