A councilman’s irritation over a police department captain commuting home 45 miles away in a patrol car has played a role in the senior-ranking officer altering his work schedule to four days a week – which might be an issue when he is set to become interim chief in January.
Council members earlier this month received a report detailing police Capt. Carlos Reynoso’s payments – 5 cents per mile – since February for commuting in a patrol car to his home an estimated 45 miles from Hollister. His report revealed he has switched to a four-day work week, which officials will have to address when the department’s lone captain takes on interim chief duties around Jan. 1, City Manager Clint Quilter said.
The report also showed that Reynoso is not charging himself for 15 miles each way, because the council’s February approval stated that department officers could commute home in patrol cars up to 15 miles.
Council members voted 4-1 in February and allowed Reynoso to pay 5 cents per mile for using a police car on his commute – with no other charges for gas or maintenance – to a home around 45 miles from the station. It came after Councilman Robert Scattini – who dissented in the February vote and recently requested the payment report – had complained late last year about Reynoso using the city car, at no charge, for his daily commutes.
Former Police Chief Jeff Miller authorized the practice after promoting Reynoso to captain in April 2009. Miller late last year, before retiring, said he decided the benefits of having Reynoso available 24/7 – and fully equipped to help coordinate responses – outweighed the cost.
Scattini most recently was upset about Reynoso subtracting 15 miles each way – 30 per day – and contended the council did not specifically agree to allow that exemption.
“It’s ridiculous,” Scattini said. “Why should he get 15 miles each way, 30 miles off, when he’s taking the car home? There’s wear and tear on the car, and nothing was even mentioned about that.”
Reynoso wrote in the report dated Aug. 1 that he has reduced his work week to four days – while increasing his schedule to 10 hours each day – with one of the reasons being to reduce the number of commutes.
Reynoso uses the 90-mile estimate for each day he works, while he subtracts 15 miles each way because that is the commute limit allowed to other officers.
Quilter said council members did agree to allow subtracting those 15 miles each way, but official minutes from the Feb. 21 meeting do not specifically address a case like Reynoso’s, merely noting the 5-cent mileage policy for officers commuting more than 15 miles.
Between Feb. 21 and Aug. 1, Reynoso reported paying a total of $269 to the city in three installments.
Essentially, Reynoso is charged $3 per day for his commute and saves $1.50 each work day by subtracting the 15 miles each way.

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