With crimes such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Colorado theater massacre, police officers are becoming more respected and needed in today’s world. Often times, the amount of time it takes an officer to get to a crime could mean the difference between life and death. While some law enforcement agencies do not allow their officers to take their patrol vehicles home, more are opening up to the possibility, as there are many benefits for both the officer and society when the vehicle is allowed to be taken home.
When an officer is permitted to take his patrol car home, he is given a sense of ownership and accountability. He is in charge of keeping the car clean and maintained, resulting in fewer accidents, costing the department less money. Additionally, the department saves money in terms of repairs, as take home vehicles are not driven 24 hours a day. When more than one officer shares a car, it is generally driven 24 hours a day for up to three years. The wear and tear happens significantly faster as the car is getting used more often. This can affect the officer’s job, as his car could cause an accident or not be able to catch up to a criminal during a high-speed chase. Henri Degre, expert in the field of specializing law enforcement cars, knows the value of keeping a patrol car well-tuned and full of life-saving features, as the officer may need to use drastic techniques in order to survive a situation.
Benefits to the Individual Officer
When a cop brings home his vehicle, he is allowed to squeeze in extra patrol time on his way to and from work. This exposes both the officer and society to more patrolling time, cutting back on the number of accidents, as drivers slow down when they see a cop, and overall crime, as people are unable to tell if the cop is technically on-duty or not. Cops benefit from having their vehicle, which is full of life-saving equipment, close by in case of an emergency situation appearing. In such a case, an officer is able to leave directly from their home to an emergency, as opposed to driving to the officer and picking up their car beforehand.
The Presence of a Law Enforcement Vehicle
On their drive home from work, officers are handed the responsibility of tackling any type of issue they see on their ride. Therefore, roads have double the amount of police officers, both on duty and on their way home. They are able to look for drivers under the influence as they end their shift and begin to drive home. Additionally, many cops take various ways home, exposing the car to various neighborhoods and roads, curbing crime and various other incidents from occurring.
In December 2012, a late-night gas explosion caused damaged to more than 80 homes in Indianapolis. USA Today recounts that several off-duty Indianapolis police officers rushed to the scene quickly, as they had their vehicles at home with them.
“A lot of those officers came and got there so quickly because they had take-home cars,” Bill Owensby, president of the local section of the Fraternal Order of Police, told USA Today.
Police officers now face the possibility of paying a fee in order to keep their vehicles at home with them, as budgets become tighter. However, Henri Degre, law enforcement vehicle professional and retired police officer, acknowledges the importance of officers bringing home his or her car, as it can defuse and quickly end a potentially fatal situation.
Henri Degre is a partial owner and manager of Product Development for Mobile Concepts by SCOTTY. The company designs and specializes law enforcement vehicles, along with government buyers and fire and emergency services.
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