Deadline Detroit reports the new cruisers were poorly designed and may have been rushed into action for publicity's sake. Poorly outfitted cruisers are putting police, already in a dangerous job, further into harm's way. For instance, the barrier between an officer in the front seat and a suspect in back is made of easily breached Plexiglass, the website reports. Cruisers have been so haphazardly crammed with equipment that a passenger in the front seat has barely any room to sit, causing discomfort and risking serious injury to officers in the event of a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, told Deadline Detroit the problems were being addressed, but so far, no cars have been retrofitted.
Detroit's fleet of emergency vehicles has existed in a sorry state. The Detroit Free Press reported in August that, at any given time, 10 to 14 of the city's 36 ambulances are operational, leaving much of the 139-square mile city without emergency coverage.
The city was so grateful for the new vehicles, contributed by such big names as Chrysler, GM, Ford and Penske Automotive, that company officials received heroes' welcomes complete with a parade downtown and speech from Mayor David Bing.
Read More at Deadline Detroit.