The village of Lombard would like to auction off the squad car Deputy Chief Pat Rollins used to bring European golfer Rory McIlroy to the final day of the Ryder Cup in late September, but trustees first have to decide how Rollins should be able to use its replacement.
Trustee Bill Ware raised concerns last month about the high mileage on the unmarked 2005 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Rollins, questioning how often the vehicle is used for personal trips.
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Trustees continued discussions Thursday night, but did not come to a conclusion on whether Rollins should be allowed to drive his squad car back and forth between his home about 10 miles from the limits of the village. Village Manager David Hulseberg said the car used to transport McIlroy cannot be sold until trustees address those concerns and authorize the purchase of a replacement vehicle.
Rollins' car has 81,000 miles on it and was scheduled to be replaced in the next budget year. He drives it to and from his home because he could be called to a crime scene at any time, police Chief Ray Byrne and Hulseberg said.
"They realize if they are called out to the scene, they're leaving their family wherever they are," Hulseberg said. "We do allow the department heads when they're on-call taking the vehicle to use it for their personal business as well because they have to stop whatever they're doing and respond."
Most village vehicles authorized for personal use are driven to homes in Lombard or within four miles of the village limits. So Hulseberg proposed a compromise in which Rollins still would be allowed to commute in his assigned vehicle, as long as he reimburses the village for extra daily commuting mileage past the four-mile radius.
"I still believe that it's a component of his job being on-call and feel that it is appropriate that he take the vehicle home," Hulseberg said.
Ware said he is open to that compromise, but Wilson asked for more information. Byrne estimated Rollins is called to crime scenes while off-duty about twice a month, but Wilson said he wanted specifics.
"I'd like to know exactly how many times and when and why he's coming in," Wilson said. "If it's essential for something and it's serious enough that he has to make decisions, I'm wondering if that's reflected in a report, but if not, why not."
No matter what the board decides about personal use of the deputy chief's vehicle, Hulseberg and Byrne said it needs to be replaced. Village staff proposed purchase of a Ford Fusion hybrid for $17,118.
"I still think the position should have a car, a dedicated car," Wilson said. "Whether he's driving it back and forth is a different story."