Businessman offers to sponsor police car

Tom Getz, franchise owner of Little Caesar's Pizza in Chattanooga, said he is more than willing to adopt a cop.

He wants to sponsor a police car and pay the mileage for the officer who drives it from home to work and back.

"The police department has been good to us," Getz said last week. "I think it's a shame they are taking this perk away."

Chattanooga last week began charging police officers who take their patrol cars home: 20 cents a mile inside the city limits, 30 cents a mile outside.

Getz said he'd be happy to pay for mileage on a patrol car and hopes other Chattanooga business owners will follow his lead.

"I know one guy can't make a huge difference," he said.

He values the police department. Someone robbed his East Brainerd Road store four months ago, he said, and police caught the culprit in two weeks.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the city appreciated the offer.

"It's a very gracious offer," he said. "But it's an ongoing problem."

He said the city council would "frown" upon any type of business logos being placed on police cars, although Getz never mentioned that he would want Little Caesar's logos on police cars.

Last year, KFC paid to fill in some potholes on city streets and marked its logo on the patches with removable chalk.

Detective Phil Grubb, president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers local, said Getz's offer shows the public's passion for keeping the patrol cars on the road.

But he said the city, not business owners, should fund the take-home cars.

"Should they be taxed with something that's not their responsibility?" he asked.

Contact Cliff Hightower at or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at