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Gas prices impacting police departments across central Indiana

"The amount of fuel that we use, it's just off the charts right now," said Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess.

INDIANAPOLIS — Police departments in central Indiana are forced to battle these high gas prices, just like the communities they protect and serve. In addition to crime, the Johnson County sheriff is fighting an uphill battle with his fleet director, closely watching the fuel prices daily.

"The amount of fuel that we use, it's just off the charts right now," said Sheriff Duane Burgess.

The price of gas has shot up by $2.20 since the county figured its annual budget.

That's despite deputies and county employees getting their gas at nearby pumps on a fixed government fuel rate. 

"June 3, it was $4.61 a gallon. So, it just keeps rising. I'd really like to see it go down, but we're going to have to approach our council for additional funding," said Burgess.

The department plans to ask for up to $100,000. 

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Teslas make up the majority of the Bargersville Police fleet. 

"We have 17.9 square miles of area to cover. This might not work for departments like Indiana State Police, a sheriff's department that has a large county," said officer Jeremy Roll, spokesperson for Bargersville Police Department.

The department got its first Tesla only a few years ago to save money on gas. 

"They've raised up significantly more than what our initial prediction would have been. The proof is there," said Roll. 

They never could have predicted to save this much. While its gas cars cost $550 a month or $6,000 a year, Teslas are about $60 a month or $700 a year," Roll said. 

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Meanwhile, the Johnson County sheriff said there are too many unknowns to go to electric. One thing, however, is for sure: "We're not going to stop what we're doing and how we're patrolling," Burgess said. 

13News reached out to several departments who said patrols and the way they respond will not change, despite the high gas prices, because they want to stay visible in the community.

IMPD shared the following statement with 13News on June 28:

"The Department of Public Works is designated by ordinance as the entity that oversees all fleet for the enterprise.  Our fuel and maintenance is paid through chargeback and is reflected in character 5 of our annual budget.  Currently, IMPD has not been notified that the appropriated amount in the 2022 budget is insufficient.  For specifics on fuel costs, please reach out to DPW.

Regarding electric vehicle.  Public Safety is exempt from the Executive Order issued by the Mayor that the enterprise fleet would strive to be alternative fueled by 2025.  IMPD is cognizant of our responsibility and is continually researching alternatively fueled pursuit rated vehicles.  IMPD did purchase and receive our first totally electric van that we use for transportation of items for the IMPD Property Room."

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