By The Associated Press
OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (AP) — Olive Branch patrol officers who live in the city will soon be allowed to take their cars home to increase police presence and deter crime in neighborhoods.
Chief Don Gammage won the Board of Aldermen’s approval of the policy last week, and told The Commercial Appeal that he expects the officers to begin taking home cars Aug. 1.
He says the cars’ visibility will help cut crime. Police officers will essentially be patrolling all the way to their driveways, he said.
“If they see a crime being committed, they will have to act,” Gammage said. “If we can stop one crime … it’s paid for itself … it’s justified.”
Other DeSoto County police agencies already let officers park their cars at home while off-duty.
None of the law enforcement representatives questioned was able to cite statistical evidence. But all say residents and homeowner associations expressing approval of the practice.
Southaven has had a take-home policy for about 15 years, and Hernando for about five or six years.
Olive Branch police already allowed detectives on call to drive their unmarked vehicles home. Now all detectives will be able to take their cars home, as well as patrol officers taking marked vehicles home.