Saluda police officers can now take vehicles home

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saluda commissioners decided last week to allow police officers to take vehicles home on a trial basis for the next few months.

Police commissioner Johnnie Kinard requested the change in policy. He said the city has had a couple of incidents in which vehicles left at the police department were vandalized.

Kinard also said allowing officers to drive vehicles home will also result in quicker response times, because they will be on duty as soon as they leave their homes and will not have to transfer items from their personal vehicles to the city vehicles once they arrive at work.

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Several years ago the city tried allowing officers to drive vehicles home and an officer was fired after he was seen driving a city vehicle at a grocery store on a Sunday with his girlfriend, Kinard said last week.

Kinard said officials have spoken to the officers already and know the vehicles must not be driven for personal use.

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden suggested that officers fill out a mileage log and make sure that when filling up for gasoline that officers put the mileage in at the gas pump.

If you’re going to do this, it needs to be documented, mayor Baisden said.

Commissioners agreed to review the policy in four months.