Gas Prices Rise Causing S.C. Deputies to Make Changes

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. --

With no relief in sight, the pain at the pump may be the kicker to permanently shift drivers' habits and dependency on gas.

According to Alan Fairfeild, the director of fleet operations for Greenville County, propane is the wave of the future.

"Just with a hundred vehicles, we're going to save between $100,000 and $125,000 a year on fuel costs," said Fairfield.

Thanks to a half million dollar federal grant, Greenville County is retrofitting deputy patrol cars to propane hybrid.

As of Tuesday, the cost of propane is about a $1.90 per gallon.

During an interview with WYFF News 4’s Kim Quintero, Fairfield said, "With us doing 11 million miles a year, we have to be able to save money.”

The fleet will hit the road in two to three weeks, but Fairfield said the change can't come soon enough.

"It should of come three of four months ago with the prices of fuel today," he said.

In a report issued Tuesday by AAA, the average price of regular unleaded gas is up again in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area.

This time it's $3.36 a gallon, two cents higher than Monday, 13 cents more than last week, a quarter higher than last month, and 77 cents more than this time last year.

That change is adding up for drivers across the area and the nation. As of this report, more than 85,000 people said they're participating in a "no gas" campaign that was started on Facebook. The idea is to send a message to oil companies by simply avoiding gas stations on March 31.

"It is going to be difficult for us because you can't foresee the future when gas prices are going to be up," said Terri Wilfong, Greenville police chief.

On Monday, Wilfong told Quintero she's asked her patrol officers to conserve.

"What we're telling officers is don't leave their cars running when they're not in them," said Wilfong.

That's because Greenville runs under one fuel budget for all their city owned vehicles based on the price paid for gas last year.

"We're hoping they don't go up too much more because then we're going to have to take money from different budgets, which could be supplies, uniforms, etc.," said Wilfong.

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