Safety & Accident

Report Blasts Irving Police on Tire Maintenance

August 22, 2007

IRVING, TX – An internal review of the City of Irving’s police vehicle maintenance procedures after the traffic death of a police officer concluded that the city has allowed tires on squad cars to become too worn before being replaced, according to Tire Review and the Dallas Morning News. Irving auditors also found the city has no clear policy regarding rotating tires and wasn’t changing defective tires in pairs.

The auditors say the city needs to address those issues quickly and take better care of all city vehicles to improve employee safety. The audit’s findings are part of the fallout from an April accident that killed Officer Andrew Esparza, who was driving a squad car with worn tires. But the audit points to widespread deficiencies within the city’s fleet maintenance department, as well as concerns about cars other than police vehicles.

The city’s fleet maintenance manager is no longer in that position and won’t be returning to the fleet operation, Irving officials said. An outside company was brought in Tuesday to serve as interim manager of the department, which could eventually be outsourced.

The audit recommended replacing tires before they get too worn, developing a tire rotation policy, and having technicians include tire tread depths and pressures on all city vehicle work orders. The audit also recommends the city consider distributing tire gauges and vehicle inspection checklists.

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