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Detroit's new fleet of donated police cars have safety issues [w/video]

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New Detroit police cars bought with donated money have safety problems.

In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit’s business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered – and complained – that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles – which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger – are affected by the safety issues.

Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.

Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn’t been updated.

Head below to read the August press release marking the multi-million-dollar donation and new fleet vehicles, and to watch a video of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing hand over the keys to the fire and police departments.

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Detroit’s new fleet of donated police cars have safety issues [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Oct 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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