The Ohio State Highway Patrol says it was able to save roughly $1 million in fuel costs in 2008 (reportedly a 16.4-percent savings) by increasing stationary patrol time. Sitting stationary does save fuel if the other option is to drive around on patrol. Still, it's a well-known fact that police officers often leave the engines in their cruisers idling in order to power the various electric doodads required in their jobs. As you would guess, lots of fuel gets burned away in these circumstances.
To combat this particular problem, nearly 1,200 patrol cars in Ohio are reportedly set to get a new five-watt solar panel that will provide sufficient juice to power the officers' patrol-car radios. Each unit will reportedly cost $37 and will be wired directly to the car's stock lead-acid battery, which is expected to both reduce fuel costs and increase the life of the car's battery.
Another interesting and green-related tidbit: the brackets used to fasten these solar panels to the rear decks of patrol cars were fashioned from misprinted license plates. Click past the break for a short video.
[Source: Green Car Advisor, WTOL Toledo]