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Brown County Tracks Deputies’ Use of Department Cars

Brown County says there have been some concerns from citizens who think the deputies are using the cars for too much personal use.

Nashville

Photo: Indiana Public Media

The Brown County sheriff's department says its review of department car use is a preventative measure.

The Brown County commissioners and sheriff are working together to create a form that will help deputies track how much they use their department issued vehicles for personal use.

Commissioner John Kennard says there is no indication that deputies are abusing the privilege of taking their cars home, but in a time when money is tight, all potential cost-cutting measures are being considered.

“As a result with the decline in revenue and costs going up, we have started to look at what is in line, spending wise, what is not,” he says.

Kennard says Brown County does not have a strong property tax base because well over 50 percent of the land in the county is not eligible for property taxes. He says sheriff‘s deputies are considered on call and on the clock 24-7, so take home vehicles have been standard policy and personal use is allowed by that policy.

However, some citizens have raised the question after seeing the vehicles outside of the county. Kennard says there is not a perceived problem, but commissioners and the sheriff felt it important enough to track just to be certain. Once the tracking log is created and the data is collected, he says, if there is a problem, then officials will act accordingly.

“So we‘re just trying to head off a potential problem before it gets to be a problem,” Kennard says. “And satisfy the citizens that we are looking at that issue. And in conjunction with us, the sheriff‘s department is 100-percent behind it.”

The Brown County sheriff‘s department maintains 13 take home vehicles for 9 deputies, 2 investigators, one chief deputy, and the sheriff.

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