While we grumble about what the high cost of gas is doing to our pocketbooks, local law enforcement agencies are among those who really are feeling the pinch, and while city police departments have a lot of territory to cover with their cruisers, county sheriff's departments and state police offices have even more.
"We traveled 76,000 miles last year, and our expenses have gone up seven and a half percent," says Larry Mincks, Chief Deputy for the Washington County Sheriff's Department. "If gas prices continue the way they are, we'll have to make some cuts."
Those cuts, ironically, could include not replacing some Washington County sheriff's vehicles.
The Wood County Sheriff's Department has added another expense in recent years. With the opening of the North Central Regional Jail, it's had to transport prisoners a total of 90 miles round trip.
"Two years ago, we went to the county commission and requested more funds for gasoline," says Wood County's Chief Deputy, Charlie Johnson. "That's when there were predictions about shortages. That was one of the reasons that prompted us to get our gas in larger volume."
The Sheriff's Department and Wood County itself purchases its gas in bulk, but while that's cheaper than the going price of gas for the average consumer, gas still costs more than it did just a few years ago.
Wood County's cruisers use roughly 700 gallons a week, almost as much as many of us use in a year.