Why Take Home Police Cars?
Reduce Wear & Tear and Replacement
Police pool cars are subject to stop and go driving that tends to wear cars out every 12 to 18 months. However, the take home cars have less down time and repair because they are used less and the police officers treat them as their own. We have 2003 and 2004 take home patrol cars that are still being driven daily. This has saved the City thousands of dollars.
Critical for Availability for Holidays and Special Events
A number of times a year during holidays, weekends, and special events we have tens of thousands of people who come to the Beach. These large numbers require all of our police officers to be on duty to answer the large number of calls. Four or five pool cars would leave the city in a dangerous situation.
SWAT Call Outs
The three beaches have a combined SWAT Team that is called out on a regular basis to emergencies and search warrant operations. The ability for the SWAT Officer to answer such calls quickly requires a dedicated car.
Other Emergency Situations
All officers are needed to respond during storm events like tropical storms and hurricanes. It is critical for each officer to have a car to respond in protecting the public. The same is true for call outs for major crimes in progress.
Mutual Aid Calls
Most all Police Departments in the State of Florida have mutual aid agreements with near by cities. If the Cities didn’t have take home cars, they wouldn’t be able to respond to mutual aid calls and at the same time maintain police patrol in their own cities.
About Public Services Take Home Trucks
This Department is made up of five divisions — Water & Sewer, Sanitation, Storm Water, Streets and Parks. These divisions have employees that take home trucks so they can answer emergency calls after normal work hours (see #2&3).
What Kind of Emergencies
Water breaks, sewer back-ups, storm water flooding, downed tree removal, road debris, sewer plant malfunctions, lift station backups, required lift station checks, repair of streets and washouts, beach clean-up, water turn-ons, etc.
On Call Pay
Most cities are required to pay “on call pay”; Neptune Beach does not because they allow the on call employee to take their truck with them. This saves the City about seventeen thousand dollars a year and makes for a fast response to the emergency.
Why are Trucks on Forest Boulevard at 4:00pm?
That is the time the Public Services Department closes. Since Forest Boulevard is the access to the main roads, like Florida Boulevard and Penman Road, it is natural to see “on call” trucks at the end of the workday on this road.
Why were there two people in the Street Sweeper?
On occasion new individuals might be in training to learn how to use the street sweeper or when trash or yard debris has built up, it requires a second person to shovel.
I saw five trucks at a Water Break. Why so many?
Because we have so few employees, we have to call people from other divisions to leave their jobs to assist in the repairs. Neptune Beach has reduced the number of employees by 15% in the last four years.