One Ohio police department is being forced to cut back on patrols due to the nation’s soaring gas prices, according to a new report.
South Zanesville Police Chief Mark Ross shared the news during a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“We’re not as visible as we normally want to be,” Ross said. “We’d like to move around through our village and let people see us.”
Approximately 2,000 people live in South Zanesville. The stationary patrol method is a response to cut costs despite increases in the department’s budget.
“We’re going to be over our budget if it continues,” Ross added.
The Ohio police department is not alone. The Isabella County Sheriff’s Office in central Michigan said last week that it had already exhausted its fuel funds several months ahead of new budget funding. In response, the office announced it would seek to manage more non-emergency calls over the phone.
“Deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county, they will respond to those calls that need to be managed in person. Any call that is in progress with active suspects will involve a response by the deputies,” Sheriff Michael Main said in a Facebook post. “I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls.”
In addition to police, other first responders are also making changes in response to high gas prices.
“Our agency conducts a wide range of both emergency and non-emergency activities each year. And, unfortunately due to the rising gas prices, we have had to issue new policy guidance on limiting some activities to make sure that we are able to manage our budget appropriately,” Franklin County Emergency Management Director Ryan Buckingham told WSIL-TV last week.
The nation’s record-level gas prices under President Joe Biden have now surged to an average of more than $5 per gallon. The price is nearly $2 per gallon higher than just one year ago.
The secondary impact of high gas prices is now beginning to be felt in other ways across America, including public safety, as police budgets must deal with the reality of higher costs to power police vehicles to protect citizens in their communities.
Despite the concerns about gas prices on police departments, the White House on Monday said Biden and the Democrats have created a “historic economic boom.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre offered a startling different reality during Monday’s daily briefing.
“So we know — we know that the — that high prices are having a real effect on people’s lives. We get that. And we are incredibly focused on doing everything that we can to make sure that the economy is working for every — American people. But we are coming out of the strongest job market in American history, and that matters. And that — a lot of that is thanks to the American Rescue Plan, which only Democrats voted for that — Republicans did not — and it led to this economic boom — this historic economic boom that we’re seeing with jobs,” Jean-Pierre said.