Imagine driving more than a million miles in one year. That kind of mileage is a reality for one local agency.
The Roanoke City Police Department has its fair share of time on the road and all that time behind the wheel means the chances of getting into an accident are probably greater than others.
Roanoke City Police officers come into work not knowing what their day will bring them. A large number of officers spend their day inside a car traveling the city in search of crime.
“You've always got some kind of issue going on whether someone's trespassing or two people are walking together and they are arguing,” said Officer Anna Volk.
Volk said every day is a new adventure.
"Anywhere from 50 to a hundred miles a day depending on how far calls are spread apart and how far we need to go in the city,” she said.
Volk spends the majority of her shifts behind the wheel and she's not alone. The city of Roanoke has at least 100 vehicles within the department.
"When the number comes up you obviously look at it and you're a little astonished that you cover that many miles and then you consider what we're doing," said Chief Deputy Curtis Davis.
In 2011, the department drove 1,277,024 miles and had 67 officer related accidents. In 2012, officers racked up 1,460,409 miles and had 58 crashes. Last year, officers traveled 1,790,425 miles with only 48 accidents.
"The fact that the crashes went down certainly we're happy with, but we're not happy with the number, again we are questing for zero so we're never happy with that number,” said Curtis.
Davis said accidents are bound to happen when you're working to keep the community safe. While he would like to see the number of crashes at zero, he said it's not realistic in this line of work.
"There's no perfect people just perfect ideas I believe and obviously people expect us to be perfect when it comes to driving,” he said. “It's a very hard thing to do.”
According to Curtis, officer-involved accidents can be something as little as a rock hitting the windshield or a car crashing due to a high-speed chase.
The numbers of crashes listed above does not mean the officer was responsible for the crash.
In 2011, 19 crashes were caused by the officer and in 2012 that number rose to 21 crashes. The number decreased in 2013 to 12 crashes caused by an officer.