Biloxi Police Ignoring Car Policy, But Review Is On The Way

The 1995 Biloxi Police car policy says officers who have been with the department a year can take their patrol cars and unmarked cars home as long as the officer lives in the city limits. The officer must also have a good driving record.

Chief Bruce Dunagan says it's a good rule and people like having a patrol car in their neighborhoods.

"Because the officer when he gets in that car he's 10-8, he's already on duty from where ever he is. He doesn't have to ride to the station and get in that car and go on duty. Somebody's broken down, an accident, he's right there to respond to it on the way into work and it works well and I'm all for it," Dunagan said.

But Dunagan admits the policy has pretty much been ignored over the years. He says when he took over as chief and began reviewing the policy, he couldn't believe the number of cars that were going home with officers who live not only out of the city but in other counties as well.

Dunagan says he has appointed a Fleet Management Officer to oversee the cars and to determine who can take them home.

"We're going to bring everything into one central individual who'll keep track of all those vehicles and then its going to be reviewed every year."

Dunagan says he's heard some grumbling from officers who will be forced to give up their cars because they live outside the city. But he says if the department's going to have a policy in place, his officers will follow it.

The policy excludes officers with the rank of captain and above. Dunagan says he will consider exceptions to the rule if the officer can justify why he needs to take a car home.