CLIVE, Iowa — The steep rise in gas prices has everyone feeling the pain at the pump, including some metro police departments.
Lt. Mark Rehberg with the Clive Police Department said the price they are paying for gas is higher than what they budgeted for.
"The budget [we set] for fuel costs I want to say this year is about $3.50 a gallon,” Rehberg said. “It's offset a little bit by taxes the city doesn't have to pay, so that helps us a little bit."
Rehberg said with prices rising, they are close to the limit they set. However, even if they go past that limit, their commitment to keeping residents of Clive safe won't change — it just might change their methods.
"If staffing allows it, we can put two people in a car and that keeps one [car] off the street so we get some savings with that," Rehberg said. "With report writing for example, we can have an officer pull into a parking lot and shut the car off and save fuel that way."
Another option Rehberg said his officers might turn to is taking reports over the phone instead of sending a person out to take it.
The department previously implemented this strategy during the height of the pandemic.
The lieutenant also noted one of the things high gas prices are doing is showing them how beneficial their hybrid vehicles are.
Currently, the department currently has three hybrid vehicles and wants to get more; but the supply chain is impacting those goals.
"We've had some cars that have been on order for several months that I don't know when they will come in, because we haven't gotten build dates on them yet," Rehberg said.
Local 5 did reach out to other police departments in the metro to see how gas prices were impacting them. The full responses from the Indianola and Story City police departments are below.
"So far, we are ok with gas prices. We will be a little bit over budget for FY2022, but not too bad. We have not changed our response to patrol activities, and we do not anticipate any changes at this point." - Captain Brian Sher, Indianola Police Department
"This increase in gas prices was not expected when considering the current fuel budget, but our department, being short-staffed, has been able to absorb some of that increase due to having fewer vehicles operating at the same time. If the prices continue to increase or remain this high for a prolonged period of time, it may become a major concern." - Police Chief Matt Sporleder, Story City Police Department