MORGANTOWN — Local police agencies offer take-home cruisers to some officers and leaders say there are benefits for the department and the Morgantown community.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said some Morgantown officers that have take-home cars are those that need to respond directly to a situation, such as members of the special response team. Other cars are distributed based on seniority and rank.

When an officer has a car, he or she can respond directly to an incident. This eliminates several stops in the home-office-scene route the officer would have to take without a car. Preston said one example was during the aftermath of the Texas game in 2012, when officers could directly respond to the scene.

Preston said in the community, residents see a car parked at a home and know an officer lives there. They know they can knock on the door if there is a problem.

For Morgantown, an officer must live within a 25-mile radius of city limits to have a take-home vehicle. But, Preston said they don’t have anyone close to that limit. The vehicles are only for work use and an officer can face disciplinary action for violating the policy.

The city foots the bill for gas as the vehicle is used for work purposes.