Local News

Fayetteville installs carbon monoxide detectors into police cars after scare

Posted August 1
Updated August 2

— Fayetteville Police have placed carbon monoxide detectors in its fleet of 12 Ford Explorers Police Intercept Utility after an officer began feeling ill. Several law enforcement agencies have said they have also had issues with carbon monoxide seeping into their cabins as well.

"He was starting to experience some headaches, and he didn't know what it was, and he saw an article online about an agency in Texas that reported that a number of the cars in their fleet were Ford Explorers, and they were having some issues with carbon monoxide getting inside the cabin," said Todd Joyce with the Fayetteville Police Department.

Israel Ortiz's detector alerted him to the fact that he was being exposed carbon monoxide.

Police officers use their vehicles as an office space, spending between 8 to 10 hours inside their cars each day.

"At the same time, if it's a vehicle where you could transport someone who has been arrested," Joyce said. "You want to make sure that person is safe as well."

Ford is aware of the problem and says it's working with "police customers, police equipment installers, police advisory board members and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate reported issues and solve them."

"Having a detector in your car can make those immediate alert, so you roll down your windows, get fresh air inside of the vehicle to get the carbon monoxide out," Joyce said.

There is a distinct difference between the Ford Explorer and Ford Explorer Police Intercept Utility, which is built for law enforcement needs.

Drivers of Ford Explorers built for citizens have no reason to be concerned. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department held a news conference Monday, saying it has nearly 150 patrol vehicles that could be prone to carbon monoxide risks. Charlotte police said 14 of them have been sent back to Ford.

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