High Gas Prices Affect Local Law Enforcement

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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Prices at the pump are not only costly for the average consumer, but also for local law enforcement, like the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Much of how the CPSO serves the community is through its various types of vehicles, including ATVs, boats, deep-sea rescue trucks, and of course, assistant units. All gas powered.

“I think we’re probably using between $35 and $40,000 a week in fuel cost,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “That’s a lot of taxpayers’ money when you’re spending that much money on gasoline.”

There are about six hundred vehicles in the sheriff’s office fleet, according to Mancuso. He explains that the department is doing certain things to reduce costs.

“Each assistant has the option to park their car and drive their own vehicle to work or if they have that ‘drive home privilege’. They have to participate in a program where they pay a user fee “said Mancuso.

Mancso said he voluntarily pays about $200 a month for the fee to bring his work unit home. Fees can help offset some of the price increase.

“We’re going to try to save in other areas, like I said, like going to our own pumps that we own,” Mancuso said.

The agency’s gas price is lower than that of the average user, and is even cheaper when filling up at OCCP-owned pumps where taxes and fees are not applied. However, it is not always so easy.

“Again, we don’t want to sacrifice leaving an area just to go fill up somewhere and get gas somewhere cheaper. When they should stay in their area as much as possible,” Mancuso said.

Additionally, there are other areas where the CPSO will not compromise.

“In the interest of public safety,” Mancuso said. “Taking our cars off the street or telling them not to drive so much is not one of them. We obviously want them every day, all day in every neighborhood that they can saturate as much as they can saturate. So, we are focused on public safety and we are not going to stray from it.”

Mancuso adds that the CPSO has an emergency fund — but the rising cost of gas hasn’t prompted the department to dip into it.

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