Rise in gas prices affecting local police

Published 1:44 pm Monday, March 14, 2022

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Some PDs slow down on patrolling; others have no prohibitions on fuel consumptions


FOOTHILLS––With the rise in gas prices, local police departments are seeing an impact with budgeting and patrolling. 

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Due to the rise, there are concerns about a decrease in police presence in the community.

Campobello Police Chief William McNeill says the Police Department has a budget for fuel, but they are getting close to that budget. He says that Campobello Police Department patrol cars average filling their tanks once per shift, and there are two shifts in a day.

“Instead of riding around or traveling through neighborhoods, we are having to park and sit,” Chief McNeill says.  “I don’t want to say you’ll see less of the police department, but they won’t be looping through neighborhoods.”

Landrum Police Chief Kris Ahler says he cannot allow gas prices to risk public safety, also stating they will likely have to allocate more for fuel in the upcoming budget year.

He says Landrum Police Department patrol cars typically fill up on gas every day, or every other shift.

“The line item budget is being impacted by the rising gas prices, eating up a larger portion than predicted,” Chief Ahler says. “We presume a deviation of roughly twenty-five cents annually and budget accordingly, though this year is special.”

The effectiveness of police service, he says, will not decrease.

“No prohibitions on fuel consumptions are in place at this time,” Chief Ahler says.

In addition, the Columbus Police Department says they will also see a raise in the fuel budget.

Chief Scott Hamby states that the Columbus Police Department patrol cars fill up on gas about every other day, depending on the officer and the call volume that day, but he says the community will not see less of CPD out patrolling, no matter the sudden rise in gas prices.

At press time, South Carolina gas prices average $4.07 per gallon. North Carolina averages $4.18 per gallon. The national average gas price, as of press time, is $4.33. This time last year, the average gas price in SC was $2.63, and the average in NC was $2.67.