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Gas Prices Putting Tooele County Sheriff's Deputies in a Pinch

Gas Prices Putting Tooele County Sheriff's Deputies in a Pinch

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Andrew Adams, KSL NewsradioWhen the sky's the limit, it's tough enough for a family to factor gas prices into the budget. With cops, it's even more tricky.

Tooele County sheriff's deputies do a lot of filling up because they do a lot of driving. "The periphery of the county is all county citizens," says Sheriff Frank Park. That means responding to a call could be as far as 300-miles round trip. Park says that people who live further away deserve every bit as much out of the sheriff's deputies as the people who live right down the street.

So that makes budgeting in future gas prices difficult. Park says recent years have landed his office in a pinch. Other police agencies are accounting for at least a 50-cent jump in prices by about this time next year.

Park says just a couple years ago, gas cost his office $8,000 per month, now it's about $12,000.

Park says terrain also factors into costs. He says his deputies have to be able to go a lot of tricky places. That means they often have to travel in SUVs.

Police agencies say sometimes gas prices force them to choose whether or not to have their officers park while they're waiting to be called out.

Utah Highway Patrol says it's had to mandate that in the past. Park says his office has come close, but has been fortunate not to have to do that. He says Tooele County has been good about approving supplemental funds to aid the budget.

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