SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego would save nearly $570,000 annually by reducing the number of vehicles city employees take home by 76, according to a City Auditor's report presented to City Council Monday.
The city has a fleet of about 4,200 vehicles, including police and fire vehicles. The city assigned 347 vehicles to employees to take home, including 277 from the San Diego Police Department and 48 from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, to be used for after-hours emergencies, according to the report.
"We can't predict when the next earthquake or the next blackout or the next emergency or critical incident is going to happen," Assistant Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said. "It could be at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning and our responsibility is to be mission-ready."
The audit noted some of the vehicles had been assigned to employees without clearly defined response time expectations and those who rarely respond to emergency calls at all, the report stated. During 2010, take-home vehicles logged 2.5 million commute-only miles at an estimated annual cost of $2.1 million.
"The cost to the city taxpayers for fleet management and maintenance is staggering. If we add up all costs we could run an entire library system with the amount of money we're spending on vehicles," said City Councilman Carl DeMaio.
The City Auditor's Office found that reducing the number of take-home vehicles by 76 would save an estimated $569,000 per year, while still maintaining the city's ability to respond to emergencies.
"I'm really looking forward to having at least $570,000 translated into actual public safety," said Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.
The audit also found that the city does not have procedures in place to review fuel card information and the city may not have reported personal use of some vehicles as a taxable fringe benefit on employees' W-2 forms.
The audit recommended establishing guidelines for commute distances, and maintaining an accurate records on the emergency call backs.
The council voted unanimously to accept the report's findings and the next step in the process will be for city officials to negotiate with labor unions before the plan can be implemented.
Hundreds of Helix High School students staged a walk- out Monday morning to protest police brutality after video emerged over the weekend on social media showing a La Mesa police officer on campus slamming a teenage girl to the ground.
Authorities Monday released the name of a 27-year old man who was fatally shot over the weekend in a Valencia Park-area neighborhood.
A man accused of stabbing his uncle to death in Pacific Beach was expected to appear in court Monday.
The Trump administration announced Monday it was preparing to replace existing vehicle barriers along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico that officials call "an area of high illegal entry."
Prior to 1867, the area which today makes up downtown San Diego was jokingly known as "Rabbitville."
An apartment complex under construction in Rolando went up in flames Monday, causing extensive damage, injuring one person and sending a thick column of black smoke into the sky near San Diego State University.
Playtime isn't just for kids. Having fun at work can get you on the path to success. Playtime with team-building games improves confidence and communication skills.
We're taking you for a tour of the largest inventory of pre-owned luxury handbags. Not only can we help you get a designer deal, but getting a coveted bag could actually be a great investment.
The mayor Monday announced the appointment of native San Diegan Kris Michell as the city's chief operating officer.
New details are being revealed about the horrific case in Riverside County, where a couple is accused of keeping their 13 children captive.