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New York County Tightens Vehicle Policies

March 17, 2005

A government committee in Cayuga, County New York proposes greater oversight of the county’s vehicle policy, according to a report in The Citizen. The major change in the new policy calls for department heads to request permission from their oversight committee for county vehicles to go home with employees.Rob Outhouse, the Cayuga County Sheriff, contends that allowing his deputies to take vehicles home is beneficial to the overall safety of the county. The County Legislature's Government Operations Committee maintains his department must follow the new rules, the report said.The Cayuga County Sheriff's Office currently follows an assigned fleet program established in 1999, which lets deputies from across the county take their vehicles home with them. It makes response time faster when deputies can be dispatched from home, according to Outhouse.The assigned vehicle policy also helps deputies who have specialized duties and training keep the equipment they need with them to be able to quickly respond to calls.Outhouse agreed with the concept in the committee's proposal that the commuter permission should be renewed annually, but proposed adding the vehicle policy his deputies currently follow to the final county policy. But the Government Operations Committee did not agree, according to the report. They urged Outhouse to make the same presentation to his oversight committee - Judicial and Public Safety - to strengthen his case for maintaining the assigned fleet program.Committee Chair Peter Tortorici said the county vehicle policy's intent is to eventually cut back on the county's total number of vehicles and maintenance costs for the vehicles they decide to keep.
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