BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Fire Department may be wasting money on take-home vehicles, a new report from the city inspector general found.
According to the report issued Wednesday, seven of the department’s take-home vehicles are assigned to members who travel to work from out of state. One travels nearly 60 miles each way from Queen Anne’s County. The members commute around 100,000 miles per year with more than $63,000 in annual maintenance and repair costs.READ MORE: Harrison Calls For Clarification On State's Attorney's List Of 305 Baltimore Officers With Credibility Issues
Three of the department’s shift commanders live out of state. Their rotating schedules require they commute to the city 10 to 15 days per month. Shift commanders are assigned a take-home vehicle in addition to a vehicle their office uses for on-duty travel. Fire Chief Niles Ford told investigators a shift commander would use their take-home vehicle to respond to an emergency while they are on-call. Ford said senior members are briefed while en route to an emergency. However, a city policy analyst said a fire department member who lives out of state cannot reasonably be expected to quickly respond to an emergency. Furthermore, take-home vehicles crossing jurisdictional lines present a possible risk and liability to the city.READ MORE: B&O Railroad Museum Offering Free Admission To Active Duty Military Personnel Through Labor Day
The inspector general found that other Maryland departments typically set distance requirements based on the station closest to the member’s home and require the member to park their assigned car there and take their personal vehicle the rest of the way home.MORE NEWS: More Baby Formula Is Heading To Store Shelves As Early As This Weekend
In a response, Ford wrote that the department plans to more closely review how take-home vehicles are distributed.