Local police cars are protected from explosion
By 06/12/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY - Police departments in Ellis County have made sure their officers are safe from a possible explosion, caused by a manufacturing default in some police cars.
Exploding Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors have been an ongoing problem in some of the major United Sta-tes cities, such as Dallas, since the Crown Victoria redesign in 1992.
Now thanks to a Ford recall, all of the Crown Victoria police cars are having shields placed on them to prevent explosion.
The shields are supposed to prevent punctures in the gas tank in a crash preventing cars from exploding.
'Ford had a recall and put the shields on the cars for us,' said Michael Moon, Ovilla police chief. 'As soon as the recall notice came from Ford, we took the cars to have the shields put on them.'
According to Moon, it only took two days to have all of the Ovilla Police cars fixed. Moon also said Ford said the shield is effective in keeping gas tanks from being punctured.
'The cars were rotated in and out,' Moon said. 'When one finished, we brought another one in to be fixed.'
Another local department also had their police cars fixed.
According to Wilmer Chief of Police Robert Wells, their cars were fixed about three months ago.
'We are more concerned about officer safety,' Wells said. 'So far we have been fortunate that no Wilmer Police cars have exploded.
According to Red Oak Police Chief Donald Fullerton, no Red Oak police cars have been hit.
Fullerton said it has a lot to do with common sense.
'If a parked car is hit in the back by another vehicle that is going 55-60 miles per hour or more, it is going to explode,' Fullerton said.
'If we were still driving Chevrolet Impala police cars, they might explode too.'
According to Fullerton, the Red Oak Police Department is still in the process of putting shields on its cars. Fullerton is not in fear of losing a police car to an explosion.
'I'm more [concerned about] one of my officers getting hit on the side of the road by a speeding motorist,' Fullerton said. 'We can't live in fear of going to work, but we do take every measure possible to be as safe as possible.'
According to Fullerton, officers are required to park the police car at an angle behind the car they have stopped to promote officer safety.
Ellis County Sheriff's deputies said their police cars have also had a shield put on them to prevent explosion. They said the police cars can be replaced, but the police officer's lives cannot.