First, law enforcement:
With average gas prices at well over $5 a gallon, at least one Michigan police force says it is about to go over its fuel budget and is now asking officers to handle “whatever calls are acceptable” by phone.
The Isabella County Sheriff’s Office announced this week that it is “feeling the pain at the pump,” and has “exhausted what funds were budgeted” for gasoline with “several months to go before the budget reset.”
Local governments are experiencing the same pain as commuters and trying to make adjustments, Dan Gilmartin, the CEO Michigan Municipal League, said Wednesday. He added that the problem is likely to get even worse.
“They’re scrambling,” Gilmartin said of Michigan’s local governments.
County Administrator Nicole Frost confirmed Wednesday that 96% of the Sheriff’s Office’s fuel budget has already been spent — and there are still 3½ months of the fiscal year to go.
As a result, Main said he instructed his deputies to manage by phone whatever calls they could — which he identified as “non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls and calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation.”
Budgets are exhausted and the price of gas is still rising.
What is next to be cut? Patrolling? Property crime investigations?
But it’s not just police, it’s fire too:
Fire departments throughout the Wabash Valley are feeling the impact of the high gas prices.
They are responding to the issue by making some necessary changes. Fuel costs for fire-trucks have increased by 66% since February.
Although gas prices continue to rise, fire departments won’t let that stop them from making runs.
The fire chiefs of the Terre Haute and Honey Creek Fire Departments say the price is hurting their departments, but there’s not much they can do about it.
Both say they will be over budget this year due to high fuel prices. The fire chief for the Honey Creek Fire Department, Tom High, says they may have to cut back in some places to be able to afford fuel.
“We can’t restrict making runs. I mean that’s what we’re here for but we may have to restrict training, we may have to restrict building inspections and things along those lines so we can keep the fuel available for the incident” shares High.
No training and prevention. Fantastic.
The Biden Administration is doing such a bang-up job that not just can you barely afford to drive to work, your municipal emergency services can’t either.