Natick will now be charging private companies who want police cruisers at road construction sites an additional $25 an hour.
According to Natick Police Chief James Hicks, there has been an increase in requests for police details in recent months.
“Every day now every cruiser we have is on the road as either patrol or detail,” Hicks said.
Hicks said the fee will cover mileage and wear and tear on cruisers.
Hicks said the town charges, on average, $37 to have an officer on site as part of a detail to help slow traffic maneuvering around construction and or sites. Until now, companies have not been charged an additional fee if they wanted or needed a cruiser.
The vehicles, often seen parked near construction sites, are left running in order to run the vehicle's flashers. Otherwise, the lights would drain the vehicle’s batteries, said Hicks.
The fee will be waived for MassDOT jobs, as well as those for the Town of Natick and any contractors working for the town. That means private construction companies and private utilities such as Verizon and NSTAR will be primarily affected, according to selectmen.
While companies may choose to employ cones, a flashing arrow, or other means to get traffic to slow in the area, Hicks said many prefer to have a cruiser–and with it, the threat of a citation–on hand.
Other communities, by comparison, charge on average $100 a day to $10 an hour, Hicks said. Framingham charges $200 a day for an 8 hour shift, according to Selectman Charles Hughes.