The City of New Haven, Conn., hopes to update its police fleet after a patrol car caught on fire. In addition to an aging fleet, with most cars over 14 years old, the police department has fewer people to maintain its vehicles. In the past it had 10 mechanics but it currently has four, reports WTNH.
In late December, a police cruiser caught fire at a construction site, reports NBC Connecticut. The cause was not known, though the local police union president cited the shortage of mechanics as a safety concern.
Interim Police Chief Anthony Campbell told WTNH that many of the department's patrol cars have had electrical and steering issues. In the past, officers have had to share cars because there weren't enough available and running.
The department received 16 Dodge Chargers last fall and received approval in November to lease 10 more, but it still needs additional funds for vehicles, equipment, body cameras, and department-issued cell phones.