7 Ind. officers quit over take-home police car policy
Scott Calhoun, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, said the policy is a mistake and the officers left because of the restrictions
By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.
ANDERSON, Ind. — The take-home car policy for the Anderson Police Department has resulted in seven officers leaving the department, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police told members of Anderson city council last week.
The discussion about take-home cars for police officers in Anderson was renewed as city council approved funding for the purchase of new patrol cars.
Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. provided council members with a special order outlining the policy. A year ago, the council asked for a take-home car policy to be implemented.
Councilman Jon Bell said he didn’t like policy provisions that limit take-home cars only to officers living in Anderson.
“The policy is highly unusual,” Bell said, contending that it falls short of achieving the objectives of quicker response and community policing.
“We need to have a way to address the policy,” Bell said. “This policy is a place to start, but it needs to be refined. I don’t agree with how restrictive the policy is.”
Broderick recalled that a year ago the council expressed concern about police vehicles being taken outside city limits.
“This is a beginning policy,” he said. “We will review it as we go forward, and there may be some changes.”
Scott Calhoun, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, said the take-home car policy is a mistake and that seven officers have left the department because of the restrictions.
“It was a step back,” he said. “We have people living just outside the city limits that can’t have a take-home car.”
Councilman Ty Bibbs said the council wants each officer to have an assigned car. He said a proposal to expand the take-home car policy was presented to council just last week.
Council President Greg Graham recommended a meeting of the administration, FOP, safety board and council to discuss the take-home car policy.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Elwood and Alexandria all provide take-home vehicles.
The sheriff’s department has 36 take-home patrol cars, and all of the deputies reside in the county.
Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine last year said his department’s policy was adopted in 2016 and includes a provision where officers pay $30 every two weeks. He said there are 17 take-home vehicles, and officers must reside within a 35-mile radius of Elwood.
Alexandria Police Chief Matt Ellis said all 13 of his department's patrol officers have take-home vehicles and must reside within 25 miles of the city.
APD car policy
According to the Anderson Police Department's take-home car policy, officers driving APD vehicles while off duty must meet the following conditions:
- Limited to officers living within city limits, with exceptions for canine officers and detectives on call.
- To be used for APD-related business and driving to and from APD work; no personal use.
- No civilian passengers, unless approved by administrative staff.
- Must have badges, weapons, radio and other pertinent equipment, including handcuffs.
- Must provide aid to stranded motorists.
- Required to have police radio activated and provide backup on police calls.
- Required to maintain proper appearance of the vehicle, including washing and cleaning.
©2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.)