By William Tauro
The Somerville Police Department’s police officers have filed grievance with the Mayor claiming they are being forced to drive unsafe high mileage vehicles. The police cars are operated 24/7 to respond to emergencies and have high mileage.
Officers are stating that the unsafe police cars are placing them and the public in danger. Sources state the Mayor and her administration are standing by and not paying attention to the safety of officers and the public on our roads here in Somerville.
Police cars are breaking down and mechanical features are failing while travelling to calls causing breakdowns and accidents. In some cases, it is questionable whether some of the cars would pass inspection. Officers request repairs and are told replacement parts are not available or will take weeks to order.
The delay is due to the leadership at the Department of Public Works where all repairs are made. Years ago the police department had its own mechanic who repaired the police cars as soon as the work was needed.
The city has refused to purchase new cars for over four years and continues to push this safety issue aside while officers are expected to provide services.
When you have high mileage vehicles, you’re absolutely spending a fortune doing repairs on them. Many times it’s cheaper and more economical to buy a vehicle that’s under warranty and let the warranty pay for its repairs.
Preventive maintenance is the key, but just look at our school buildings alone that have been neglected for years for example and see what the outcome cost the taxpayers in the long run.