How gas prices impact police departments, especially in rural towns

Mar 10, 2022, 10:29 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:30 pm


BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — In small towns, driving is a part of life and for Andrew Carter, it’s a big part of his job, too.

“This is my office. Yup,” said Carter with a laugh while inside his patrol car. “I like my job. I like it a lot.”

Carter is a Brigham City police officer and spends a lot of time patrolling the streets.

“Out of a 10-hour shift, probably six to seven. Somewhere around there,” he said.

However, he has to do it.

All of Brigham City’s officers do.

No matter how high gas prices get.

“I had a meeting with the mayor and city manager just last week about not only gas prices, but just inflation in general,” said Brigham City Police Chief Chad Reyes.

Reyes says he knows the fuel budget will get another look but promises no patrol cars or officers will be kept off the street because of higher gas prices.

“We’ve discussed everything. We’re looking to adjust other budgets to maybe accommodate for that,” said Chief Reyes.

Last month, Brigham City spent $5,500 for fuel for its patrol cars.

It’s the same amount spent a year ago in February 2021, only this year Brigham City is down seven officers from 30 to 23.

Keeping and recruiting officers is another issue many police departments are dealing with.

Especially in smaller towns.

“We are struggling. We are. And we need to get some officers hired quick,” said Chief Reyes. “We are trying to increase our wages, come up with some other benefits, and try to get people to stay here who want to work here. It’s a great department.”

Reyes says officers are working extra patrols to keep staffing levels where they need to be.

He also says it’s important to try and find money to pay officers more money, so they’re not lost to other nearby cities who have increased officer salaries.

It’s an issue that was growing even before higher gas prices, even though the city will have to pay more for fuel now as well.

“Despite gas prices, despite us being down, the safety of our citizens is what’s most important,” said Chief Reyes. “Our primary purpose and our primary mission is to make sure that we protect and serve and even though we’ve got these obstacles in the way, we do that every day and we’ll keep doing that every day.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

gun on a desk, magazine out, with bullets...

Michael Houck and Larry D. Curtis

Two Highland students arrested with loaded guns at school

Two students were found with a loaded handgun each at Highland High School Monday and were arrested after an officer noticed suspicious activity. A third student was arrested but did not have a gun and was released to a legal guardian.

18 hours ago

Salt Lake Fire crews quickly took down a fire that was inside a detached garage Monday afternoon....

Michael Houck

SLC fire crews extinguish garage fire near Smith’s Ballpark

Salt Lake Fire crews quickly took down a fire inside a detached garage Monday afternoon.

18 hours ago

Two cars crashed...

Larry D. Curtis and Dan Rascon

Victims killed in Utah County road rage-caused collision identified

The two people killed in a road-rage-caused crash Sunday have been identified as Rodney Michal Salm, 48, from Salt Lake City and Michaela Himmleberger, 47, of holiday.

18 hours ago

Speed trackers show six different drivers traveling 100 mph or more. The Utah County Sheriff's Offi...

Cassidy Wixom

Utah County Sheriff’s Office partnership aims to reduce speeding

The Utah County Sheriff's Office is partnering with the Utah Highway Safety Office to focus on areas that have high incidences of speeding.

18 hours ago

Follow @jellis9Like us on Facebook...

Josh Ellis

Police searching for suspect after one hurt in SLC shooting

One person was shot and injured near 300 S. Main Street early Monday morning, and police say the shooter remains at large.

18 hours ago

After 14 years at the helm of the Utah Symphony, Maestro Thierry Fischer has conducted his final co...

Carole Mikita

Utah Symphony director gives final bow after 14 years

After 14 years at the helm of the Utah Symphony, Maestro Thierry Fischer has conducted his final concerts as music director.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

How gas prices impact police departments, especially in rural towns