What other cities allow
Baldwin City: Only Bill Winegar, Public Works director, uses a vehicle after hours, and that's because he must respond to any city-service emergency, said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. He said police sometimes take patrol cars home.
"Police officers assigned to a vehicle typically may drive them home as a policy to keep them from all being unattended at the same location," Dingman said.
Eudora: Three city employees can take vehicles home - the police chief, the fire chief and the city superintendent. All three are department heads and are on call 24 hours a day.
Tonganoxie: Six full-time Tonganoxie police officers and five full-time Public Works employees take city-owned vehicles home. According to city policy, only employees who live within city limits are allowed to take vehicles home, with exceptions. At the time the policy took effect, two Public Works employees lived outside the city limits. They were allowed to continue driving vehicles home. All police officers who take home vehicles live in Tonganoxie. Police Chief Kenneth Carpenter, who does not live in the city, doesn't take a police vehicle home, but is given a $250 monthly travel allowance.
Edwardsville: Three city employees - Fire Chief Cliff Lane, Police Chief Mark Mathies and Public Works Director John Sower - can take home a city-owned vehicle.
Bonner Springs: The police chief, the chief and assistant chief of the fire department, and the EMS chief.
Shawnee: In the Shawnee Police Department, one major, three captains, four lieutenants, eight of 11 detectives and two motorcycle officers take vehicles home. In the fire department, only the fire marshal, who is on call seven days a week, takes home a city vehicle.
In Public Works, the field operations manager can use a four-wheel drive vehicle in the winter months to respond to storms if he gives prior notification to the director. However, city officials said the field operations manager hasn't requested use of a vehicle for several years. The city manager, department directors and the mayor receive vehicle allowances. Mayor Jeff Meyers receives $5,400; Carol Gonzales, city manager, receives $8,200. Directors of the Information Technology, Finance, Fire, Planning, Development Services, Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments all receive $5,400, while the city clerk/assistant city manager receives a $3,600 allowance.
Basehor: Three on-call police supervisors - who live within 5 miles of the city - take vehicles home.
"It was designed from a recommendation by emergency preparedness," Police Chief Lloyd Martley said. "It was determined by what happened down in New Orleans. They lost their entire fleet because all the vehicles were in one lot. If some of the vehicles are taken home and a tornado hits the station, we'll still have some vehicles available to provide some assistance to citizens."
- World Company reporters Lara Hastings, David Oakes, Leann Sulzen, Caroline Boyer, Nicole Kelley, Jeff Myrick, Estuardo Garcia, Joel Walsh and Shawn Linenberger contributed to this report.