DETROIT (WWJ) - Starting this week, Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies are taking a part of work home with them – marked patrol vehicles.
The new pilot program is designed to increase police presence throughout the county at a time when most police agencies are struggling to keep officers on the street due to limited financial resources.
To take home a marked police car, deputies must reside in Wayne County and park the car in their driveway or garage. Personal use of the car is prohibited.
Deputies will be in full uniform and on duty during their drive to and from work. They will be required to enforce the law during their travel time but will not receive overtime compensation.
About 20 officers are expected to participate in the voluntary program, including those assigned to road and park patrols.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said the program could add an extra hour or more of extended patrol time and also increases police visibility for the public where the officers live, adding that higher visibility helps to deter crime.
Unions representing Sheriff’s deputies — AFSCME Local 3317 and the Police Officers Association of Michigan – approved the pilot program last week.
Napoleon said the program will be monitored closely to ensure it achieves intended goals.
The program is believed to be among the first for a Sheriff’s agency in Michigan.