APD finalizing plan for carbon monoxide issue

APD was finalizing these plans late today just as two new incidents of possible carbon monoxide exposures happened.

The Austin Police Department is finalizing plans to deal with possible carbon monoxide exposures in patrol vehicles.

Police are also establishing new procedures for officers and supervisors to follow if carbon monoxide detectors go off in their SUVs. 

If necessary, APD will pull sedans currently being used by officers in specialized units such as the SWAT team or by detectives for regular patrols. Those cars have been determined to be what officials call "pursuit rated."

They would then rent cars for those officers and detectives whose cars would be transferred to patrol.

KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski said APD does have enough cars for patrols, but that in some rare cases, officers may have to ride together. 

Related:
5 APD cars reported for possible carbon monoxide in 1 weekend
WATCH: 'I just need fresh air' APD officer says during alleged carbon monoxide leak
How does carbon monoxide get in cars?

Meanwhile, APD has been working with national safety experts to come up with data they want officers to collect when a carbon monoxide alarm sounds. The data includes the temperature both outside and inside of the vehicle and whether the air conditioner was running at the time.

This has been an escalating issue all week after five police officers were evaluated for possible carbon monoxide exposure in a four-day period. None of the officers were seriously injured.

KVUE obtained dash camera video from a March incident involving Sergeant Zachary LaHood. LaHood is still off the force on medical leave because of the incident.

They mystery about what's causing the issue remains.

Ford told KVUE that they have investigated and found no issue that could be causing the problem. In a statement, Ford said they have, "thoroughly investigated reports of exhaust odor and do not believe this odor condition poses a safety risk."

Ford referred concerned vehicle owners to their local dealerships.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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