Area State Patrol still hitting the road |

Area State Patrol still hitting the road

Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A trooper with the Colorado State Patrol can put between 120-180 miles per day on a patrol vehicle, if not more.

And with the soaring gas prices ” that can add up to a lot of money.

But so far, it hasn’t caused any cutbacks in the number of vehicles patrolling in this area, according to Capt. Rich Duran, of the Glenwood Springs CSP.

The area they patrol is huge.

The Glenwood Springs-based office of the CSP territory includes Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, not to mention county roads and Highway 6.

“We have 22 patrol cars in our fleet and on any given day there are four to six cars out during the day shift and the same during the night shift,” Duran said. “Are we limiting mileage? No. So far we haven’t had any directive from (the CSP headquarters in) Denver.”

And while the increase in gas prices has affected the CSP, it so far hasn’t been overwhelming.

“Locally, we haven’t been affected much, but it reduces our budget quite a bit,” Duran said. “Right now, we’re out there doing business as usual ” we’re out there patrolling.”

The Glenwood Springs Police Department also says that despite rising fuel costs, it’s also not cutting back on patrols.

“Yeah, it’s going to hurt the budget this year, but we don’t plan any cutbacks because there’s only so much we can do to reduce the amount of our (gas) use,” said Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson. “Summer is our busy season.”

Wilson estimates the city spends about $160,000 a year in gas patrolling the city limits with three full-time cars and two part-time vehicles.

“Our big problem is the staffing shortage which means we don’t have as much open patrolling as we used to,” Wilson said.

The Glenwood Springs Police Department has implemented an employee car pooling program while the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is looking at a its Ford F-150 fleet of trucks with hybrid vehicles.

“Obviously, our focus is going to lean towards alternative vehicles, such as hybrids,” Wilson said. “(Gas prices) are definitely going to have some effect on the budget.”

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