Roadside construction contractors that want police cruisers to accompany their traffic officers on duty will have to pay more for it.
The Board of Selectmen on June 5 approved an increase in the hourly rental cost for a cruiser, from $20 to $25.
“The last increase was nearly 10 years ago. An audit of area departments showed that most police departments charge a rate of $25,” Chief John Lynch said in an email, explaining why the department requested the increase.
The fees help offset the cost of the vehicles and gasoline. The increase helps the town facilitate the additional costs associated with wear and tear, insurance costs and gasoline expenses, Lynch said.
The contractors are fully informed of the additional cruiser expense and it is their choice to request one. The number of companies that request cruisers varies but they are typically contractors who work in the roadway and the cruiser affords them added protection. Most of these jobs are along Route 7 and Route 33.
The cruiser is a supplement to hiring a police officer for traffic control. The contractor can request an officer alone or with a cruiser. “They can’t just ask for a cruiser without an officer,” Lynch said.