While members of the Milford Town Council ponder Marshal Rich Miotto’s request that they give the town’s top local law enforcement official a take-home vehicle, StaceyPageOnline.com and The Mail-Journal are inviting residents to weigh in on the issue.
All of the responses received will be forwarded to town council president Doug Ruch before the next regular meeting of the council on Aug. 13. On that date, the council will discuss the request.
Currently, neither the marshal nor his deputies are assigned a take-home vehicle. Taking home a police vehicle is current law enforcement practice, but Milford has resisted the trend.
Longtime councilman Ruch said last month that one of the reasons he is against changing the existing policy is because Miotto lives outside of town, which makes response time to a call an issue.
“If you want to decrease response time to a situation, give an officer a car where he can turn on the lights and sirens and get here faster,” Miotto responded recently. “I can’t speed in my personal vehicle.”
Law enforcement organizations also note decreased response times that come with not having to drive to the police station first to pick up a police vehicle and transfer gear into it.
Ruch, however, resisted again saying that adopting such a policy might necessitate buying another police vehicle. The town currently owns two patrol cars, which are replaced every three to six years depending on their mileage.
Various studies, including recent ones done in Cape Coral, Fla., and Tacoma, Wash., showed that vehicles which are assigned to an individual officer and taken home tend to last longer than shared vehicles, however, because they’re taken care of better and because they’re operated on a less-demanding schedule than shared vehicles.
Miotto is requesting the council allow a take-home vehicle just for the marshal. However many cities, including most of Kosciusko County municipalities, do the same for all full-time officers who live within a prescribed radius.
Milford currently employs one full-time marshal, three full-time deputies and six other officers, some of whom work part-time and some of whom are reserves.
The Monday, Aug. 13, council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Milford Town Hall, 121 S. Main St.