As the price of gas has climbed over the past six months, several GUARDIAN readers have asked about the practice of leaving public vehicles running for long periods of time.
The GUARDIAN editor noticed a marked police cruiser sitting at idle in the parking lot of a convenience store while the cop was inside sipping soda. Realizing that he was paying not only for the gas going into his own car, but also paying the police petrol contributing to global warming, he had a friendly chat with the copper.
To his credit the cop actually apologized for his actions. A lengthy philosophical and technical conversation followed regarding on board computers, radio back up, the price of gas-vs-extra battery and isolator. The officer said it was policy to leave the cars running so the computers don’t crash…sounded weak and we figured he REALLY wanted to keep the AC running to cool the car.
The GUARDIAN in a rare moment of fairness toward officialdom called Chief Mike Masterson to get the straight skinny on idle policy. We discussed the potential of extra batteries–including gel cells. He has promised to check it out and give the GUARDIAN and reader BIKEBOY credit if the cops are able to save gas and keep the air cleaner with a different approach to parked police prowl cars.
Chief Mike has a little greenie in his system because he told the GUARDIAN they will be using a juice dispenser left behind in the building which will be the new cop shop instead of running through 500 aluminum soda cans a day in vending machines.
Another really simple gas saving tip will be setting up a pickup and drop-off point for uniform cleaning at the new station—instead of each copper driving to the cleaners and running inside while their car is idling outside burning the gas we buy them.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.