Sheriff's Department cutting down fuel usage

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) -With higher gas prices taking a bite out of our money it means we're all having to be more resourceful and that includes police protection.  Over in Clay County, Sheriff Gerald McClung said they aren't patrolling less, but they are cutting back on how much they drive.

"When we run out of money we're going to have to go back to the quorum court and ask for help," said McClung.

Like other county departments, the sheriff's department has a budget, but the dollar amount they budgeted for gas per gallon is no longer accurate.

"I've instructed them not to cut back on patrols but to just use a little bit different way of doing things," said McClung.

Part of that means cutting down on their travel.

"This is a county that has got two county seats.  I've got deputies on the eastern side deputies on the western side," said McClung.

Sheriff McClung said the county is 60 miles across from east to west.  The trip from Corning to Piggott can take almost thirty minutes.

"If there is paperwork or something that needs to be brought over to the jail here I make sure all the deputies send it by one person," said McClung.

Sheriff McClung said no matter what the cost, it is their job to have a presence in their county and protect citizens.  He said they've started doing more stationary patrols.

"Sit in one area for a while.  Go to another area and sit and then patrol some, go to another remote area," said McClung.

"He's also encouraging deputies to go slower and cut down on the use of gasoline.

"We have eight deputies and some of those cars are in use most of the time," said McClung.

They also have other vehicles at the sheriff's department, including transport vehicles that they pay for.  Sheriff McClung said he is getting ready to take a close look at the fuel budget and determine how much they've spent so far and where that puts them for the rest of the year.

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