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Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Looks At Idling Of Parked Sheriff’s Department Patrol Units

Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014 12:27am

It might not seem like a big deal, but the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury says the Sheriff’s Department is wasting money, and creating pollution when it leaves patrol vehicles running at the scene of calls.

The county has a policy prohibiting leaving vehicles which are unattended running.  But, there is an exception for vehicles on emergency calls.

The Grand Jury contends that there are many occasions when units are left running in non-emergency situations, costing the county hundreds of dollars a day.  But, the Sheriff’s Department says it’s important to keep vehicles running, because if they are shut down, it can take three to four minutes to power up computers in the units, and that could delay emergency responses.

The Grand Jury is suggesting one option could be the use of backup battery systems to keep the electronics of patrol units online while their engines are off.

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