Selma City Council draws up new employee vehicle policy for city employees

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Selma City Council has drawn up a new take-home vehicle policy for its employees.

City Attorney and Probate Judge-elect Jimmy Nunn handed out the policy to the City Council at the City Council Work Session on Thursday. It will be voted by Council members to become official at the City Council meeting on Sept. 11. Over the next two weeks, items can be added or subtracted.

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A copy of the policy will be sent to Mayor Darrio Melton. Council President Corey Bowie said Melton’s input is welcome.

The policy defines city vehicles authorized to get taken home by employees. They may not be used for personal reasons.

The question of city vehicle use was brought up at recent City Council meetings by City Councilwoman Jannie Thomas.  She drafted a letter to Nunn.

“We needed a new policy in place, not just for the Selma Police Department, it should be for all city employees,” Thomas said.

No city employee can take a vehicle home without having a City of Selma Vehicle Take home authorization form on file with the City Human Resources Department. Melton must designate a Vehicle Control Officer (VCO) to oversee the vehicle take-home policy and present recommendations for policy changes or additions to the approved list.

Take home vehicles are exclusive to the Selma Police Department and Selma Fire Department within the city jurisdiction, with Melton’s approval.

For the SPD, the marked vehicles have Selma Police Department and approved task force vehicles when off-duty. The vehicles must be marked at their resident in a visible spot for public viewing.  Personal use is confined to being within the police officer’s arrest powers or firefighter responding to an emergency.

The SFD vehicle must be marked Selma Fire/Rescue and taken to their resident when off-duty and commuting.

Both the SPD and SFD must both complete a City of Selma Take Home Vehicle Authorization form, which will be on file with the VCO and their department once approved.

If employees in the SPD and SFD live outside the city jurisdiction, their department heads will recommend to Melton for approval.

Here are the policy’s other definitions:

A clearly marked public safety vehicle who respond to incidents after regular working hours is driven for commute and the officer is on call at all times.

An unmarked vehicle used by full-time law enforcement officers responsible for preventing or investigating crimes involving injury to person or property and authorized to carry weapons, execute warrants and make arrests.

Department head vehicles are assigned with the Department head position. based on the city’s organizational chart. They must get Melton’s approval. Once approved, they must complete a City of Selma Take Home Vehicle Authorization form, which will be filed with the VCO and their department.

They must pay the take-home mileage rate per day for the mileage round trip from their residence to their place of business. The mileage amount accrued will be deducted bi-weekly from the person’s paycheck one month in arrears. They will pay only the days the vehicle was driven. Employees are subjected to the business mileage rate per mile set by the IRS, the same rate the city reimburses employees for official travel.

Specialty on-call vehicles are assigned to employees who take the cars home for after-hour response or called in on emergencies. They must reside within the city jurisdiction. They also must complete a City of Selma Take Home Vehicle Authorization form, which will be filed with the VCO and their department.

Employees are authorized to take vehicles overnight or out of town business travel. The authorization must be requested in writing through the Request for Out of town travel voucher form by the department head for approval.