POSTED: Monday, June 3, 2013 - 6:39pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 10:30am
PORT ALLEN, LA (NBC33) — When Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown looks at his fleet of squad cars he sees one thing: a safety hazard. The department currently has 21 cars, excluding detective vehicles, of which only 4 cars are in good condition. Brown said it's time for the city to help pay to revamp the fleet.
"Most police cars are not like regular civilian cars, because they are on the road so much. The wear and tear is a lot," Brown explained.
Brown described the damage on the outside cars. Some have bullet holes on the door, and some have peeling spray paint.
Inside the cars officers found cracked seat belts and in some cases no air conditioning.
"You can tell in Southern Louisiana in the summer time it gets real hot," Brown said concerned for his officers.
Brown explained not having a working air condition affects more than his officers: "If they have to arrest somebody and put them in a unit. It's hot it's also unsafe for the person that they've detained or arrested."
The cars are in such bad shape, Brown doesn't trust how they'll handle a high speed chase.
"Being that they are so old I don't think they will be able to keep up. A lot of them run hot they have transmission problems. A high speed chase is definitely not a thing we'd want to get into," Brown stated.
Now Brown has asked the city council and the mayor to put money in the upcomming budget to pay for the vehicles. He says it will cost around $450,000 to pay for the cars.
Money he says is well worth spending to protect his officers.
" 12 Hour shifts he is mostly inside his vehicle and that's like his home. The more comfortable he is inside his vehicle the better he will be at his job. The more protective he will be toward the community."
Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter told NBC33 News she does plan on putting money in the budget to help the police department get new cars.