|By Beth Musgrave, Lexington Herald-Leader|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But many members of the
"There is no way to estimate the value of having more police officers on the street," said Councilman
Some council members said the visibility of those police cruisers can help deter crime. Others said it's difficult to put a cost on citizens' safety.
Police officers can drive their cruisers to their homes and to work but can't drive them for personal errands. If a police officer has a second job, he or she can pay
The limitations on personal use of police vehicles has become a topic of discussion in the November mayoral election. Mayoral candidate and former Lexington police Chief
Gray's administration has been working with the
But the program has not generated the
For the 2013 calendar year, it saved roughly
Shapiro said that crime decreased in 2013 by 7.8 percent during the time that personal use for police vehicles was restricted.
Other members of the council asked why the council was not told that the administration was going to ask the FOP to consider a
Shapiro said the city and FOP were still in talks, and that's why the information was not given to the council earlier.
About 359 police officers would likely be eligible for the expanded personal use of police vehicles.
"I've heard from both sides," Rothermund said.
If the FOP rejects the policy, the current policy that allows police officers only to drive to and from work will remain in effect until next year, when the current collective bargaining agreement with police expires.
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