By Seth Daniel
In the wake of several police vehicles being brought into question for carbon monoxide leakage in Auburn, the Everett and Revere Police Departments have taken some precautions with similar models in their fleets.
In Everett, Police Chief Steve Mazzie said when they heard the news last week that several officers in Auburn had been found sick with carbon dioxide poisoning from exhaust leaks into their cruisers, they decided to check their vehicles.
“We ended up taking all of our vehicles to be checked,” he said. “The whole fleet has gone through that with the Fire Department. They have special carbon monoxide testing equipment. Everything has come back okay in terms of carbon monoxide. We took that step as a precautionary measure.”
In Revere, Lt. Amy O’Hara said the department is monitoring the situation closely with the manufacturer.
“Chief James Guido is in contact with Ford, getting the latest updates and monitoring the issue closely,” she said.
Mazzie said it did appear in Auburn that the officers were sickened due to after-market work done on the vehicles, and not any manufacturing defect. He said often cruisers have to be outfitted with lights and radio equipment, and that can sometimes result in holes in the exhaust.
In Everett, that was a concern and one reason Mazzie wanted to check the City’s fleet to be sure a similar accident hadn’t happened.
Everett City Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he was pleased to hear that the chiefs in Everett and the area were taking action quickly.
“After seeing such an awful situation unfold in Auburn, it quickly came to my attention that we should review all city owned vehicles,” he said. “I quickly talked with the mayor who was fully in support and I am very pleased to hear both of our chiefs have started the process. I look forward to working closely with all Department heads along with the Mayor on a full overview of all vehicles and equipment to ensure safety of our employees.”
In any case, Mazzie said they encourage officers, especially in the winter, to keep their windows down slightly for fresh air when on long patrols.