It’s not often that you hear about officials airing their grievances. But recently, Washington State Patrol troopers told reporters their patrol cars are exposing them to carbon monoxide. Over the years, this means this exposure is leaving lasting effects on their health.
So far, four troopers filed torts against the law enforcement agency. But these are not the only carbon monoxide poisoning problems in the country. Other legal actions involving carbon monoxide leaks tied to Ford police vehicles are also in motion.
One of the WSP troopers filing complaints against the agency told reporters he thought he was going to die. He claims his WSP vehicle made him deathly ill. He also explained that while he’s not doing this because of the money, he wants others to hear his story. After all, this could inspire them to speak out.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries issued a report on these incidents, claiming that the WSP fleet section new about the exhaust issue. Unfortunately, the agency added, the WSP didn’t notify any of the WSP vehicle custodians. As a result, troopers were not aware of the risks.
After an inspection, the department of labor also confirmed the allegations.
Ford Motor Co. also responded to the scandal, saying that the Police Interceptor Utilities expose troopers to risks because during the installation of police equipment by third parties, holes were not properly sealed.
The first reports of troopers falling ill happened in 2017. At the time, six troopers reportedly showed symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide. At the time, the WSP communications director said the agency couldn’t pull all vehicles off the street at the same time to fix the issue so carbon monoxide detectors were installed in all vehicles. More than 50 alarms went off after that.
WSP Appeals Report, But Admits Troopers Suffered
In a press release, the WSP said that it puts trooper safety first and that the agency is heartbroken that troopers have experienced health issues as a result of this carbon monoxide leak. However, the WSP said it is trying to appeal the department of labor’s report.
It’s heartbreaking that our law enforcement agencies are not making sure their troopers are safe while on the job. We hope this story helps to change this situation, as the agency should be forced to be more considerate of its troopers’ needs after this scandal.
For more on what troopers are going through, follow this link.