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Pa. Cops Conserve Gas Without Compromising Safety

FERNDALE, Pa. --

While the price at the pump continues to rise, police departments are among those struggling to cope with costs of more than $4 a gallon.

Many drivers are figuring out ways to scale back on gas usage like carpooling or biking, and at least one local police department is trying to save on gas costs without jeopardizing coverage.

Ferndale Borough Police Chief Art Boring said it's a delicate balance. The chief said officers want to try and ensure they still provide the same protection to residents, but at the same time they're trying to save money on fuel.

"You make up a budget and that's supposed to be for the whole year, and then partway through the year the gas prices go crazy. You've got to start watching your budget because things start getting a little tight there," Boring said.

He said they'll be parking cruisers and turning the vehicles off to clock traffic.

In addition, he said residents will see more officers patrolling borough streets by foot or by motorcycles, which get close to 60 miles per gallon compared to 13 or 14 miles per gallon in a cruiser. He said alternate forms of transportation require cooperation from the weather and, as prices continue to climb, officials are looking for other ways to save to make those numbers work.

"It's not easy," he said.

The chief said he's telling officers to keep a close eye on parked cars, especially people lurking around them at night. He said the last time gas prices shot up, the area had many problems with people siphoning gas.

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