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Citing Lack Of Affordable Housing, Truckee Police Officer Commutes From Reno

The news has been full of stories about the issues that arise when police don't live in the communities they serve. That includes everything from slow emergency response times to excessive force.

Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt spoke to one Truckee police officer to learn his story.

One afternoon last year, Truckee Police Officer Noel Borden was relaxing at home.

“My neighbor frantically came over and said that her husband had collapsed in her front yard."

Borden ran over, did CPR and revived him. Eventually the man died due to severe heart disease, but Borden tells the story as an example of what can happen when you have a first responder in your neighborhood.

“Though we have pretty fast response times in Truckee, when it comes to heart attacks and that type of thing, every second matters,” he says.

Borden commutes from Reno now. Like more than half the Truckee police force, he can’t afford to live in the town he polices.

For policeman, that means they’re not available when they’re off duty.

“None of us feel that once we take off our uniform that our job is done,” Borden says. “All of us are ready to go to work at any given notice.”

That’s tougher to do with a commute that’s only getting worse as winter begins.

“When winter hits and the roads get bad, we got to leave probably about 45 minutes to an hour earlier,” he says. “So it’s going to make an extra-long day.”

The Truckee Chief of Police has been vocal at public meetings about the need to provide affordable housing for his staff. In the meantime, Borden is refreshing his Zillow search a dozen times a day.

Amy Westervelt is a former contributor at KUNR Public Radio.
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