ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- Gas prices are putting a strain on consumers, manufacturers, shipping companies and now police. Local prices here in the Twin Tiers are sitting around $5 a gallon; the price of patrolling has never been so high.

Officers spend a lot of time on the road, patrolling areas 24/7 and getting gas constantly.

“It certainly hasn’t affected us with regard to the manner in which we provide law enforcement,” says Chemung County Sheriff Bill Schrom.

At least, not right now, but in the future budget cuts could happen.

“We don’t have the luxury of basically kind of just shutting down and hanging out somewhere centrally and waiting for a call. We have to be somewhat proactive,” says Sheriff Schrom.

“I strongly believe that a police officer operating a marked patrol car has a deterrent effect and that some crimes don’t even occur because of the visualization of the officer in the neighborhood,” says Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz.

Like mentioned, police don’t have the option of sitting around and waiting for calls to come in. Chief Alvernaz says they have previously looked into others way to try and cut spending, one way is to turn the engine off when doing stationary patrol. Which may not always be an option depending on the weather.

“As of right now our patrols are operating as is. We haven’t made any modifications to the way that we’re utilizing our patrol vehicles,” says Chief Alvernaz.

Even though stations aren’t feeling the effect right now, when looking at next years budgets things could change. Forcing stations to get creative and think of ways to make cuts, if it came down to that.

“We can walk around, you know, we can do foot patrols,” says Chief Alvernaz, “…but we obviously still always have to have a vehicle for a fast type response and emergency response but we can do get a lot of work done without a vehicle.”

Sheriff Schrom says his station is already halfway over the $90,000 budget for this year, so in a few months when it’s time to come up with next years budget, cut backs in other areas could be a possibility, “…you know, we’re running anywhere from three to five cars, every shift, and the shifts are 24/7.”

If stations have to cut back on other things, like equipment for example, just to be able to afford gas is not what either station wants. If they have to cut back on equipment or anything else, it could potentially have a different impact on them and how they serve the community.