09/08/05 — Princeton police cope with rising cost of gas

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Princeton police cope with rising cost of gas

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 8, 2005 1:45 PM

From staff reports

PRINCETON -- The Princeton Police Department, like every other government agency, is feeling the pinch at the pump.

Chief Eddie Lewis said Tuesday night that if his officers use as much gas in their cars as they did last year, the town's cost would almost double.

During the 2004-05 fiscal year, Princeton police used 4,306 gallons of gas that cost $6,981 -- about $1.62 per gallon, not including state and federal taxes that the town gets back.

If the police burn the same number of gallons at $3 a gallon, Lewis told the monthly town board meeting, then the cost would be $12,900. He said he was "open to suggestions on how to handle the situation."

Mayor Don Rains said he wanted the amount of gas used in 2005-06 not to exceed the 2004-05 total.

Town Commissioner Walter A. Martin, a police detective in Smithfield, said all citizens want their property protected. Lewis also noted that the air conditioners in the cars need to be running in hot weather because the officers are wearing bulletproof vests.

"We'll make every effort to watch our driving habits so we can conserve as much as we can on the town vehicles as we do on our own vehicles," Lewis said.