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BPD installing CO detectors in Ford SUVs

NTSHA investigating carbon monoxide complaints
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Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:12:17-04

The Baltimore Police Department is taking a proactive approach dealing with growing concerns about carbon monoxide fumes from Ford Explorer patrol vehicles potentially sickening officers.

The AP reports that Ford Motor Co. has promised to repair the vehicles and investigate the cause. The auto company suggested police departments may have created the problem when they added equipment after delivery. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said its investigation suggests the vehicles are experiencing exhaust manifold cracks that are hard to detect and may explain exhaust odors, according to AP.

Three officers from the Auburn, Massachusetts Police Department were admitted to the hospital for high carbon monoxide levels after one passed out behind the wheel. The department has taken 12 Ford Explorers out of service, including SUVs used by the department of public works and the fire department.

In Texas, the Austin Police Department pulled all Ford Police Interceptors off the streets following an ongoing carbon monoxide issue.  

In a Facebook post, Auburn police urged other departments to have their cruisers tested and to purchase detectors to ensure officer safety.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said that even though the Baltimore Ford Explorers are not the models that have experienced problems, the department is still taking steps to protect officers by equipping cars with carbon monoxide detectors.

“To be safe,” he said in a statement, “we have equipped 32 of our Ford Interceptor SUVs with carbon monoxide detectors, and the remaining 8 are scheduled to be equipped with them this week.”

Smith said as an additional precaution, the department will also install carbon monoxide detectors in all of the department’s standard model Explorers, which are different from the Interceptor which has been modified for police use.

Smith said the department has not received any reports of exhaust fume problems.