BRPD waits for equipment, police units run into supply chain problems
BATON ROUGE – If you’ve seen a lot of cars lately, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a wide variety of vehicles on the market to buy. Chip shortages are affecting the auto industry, which means fewer cars for sale. It affects many people and organizations, including the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Police calculate thousands of miles to drive to and from the scene. Their units were supposed to be swapped out every few years, but over the last two years they’ve had to make those last a little bit longer.
“The car itself is our office,” Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said. “It will take us wherever we need to get around the city.”
Some vehicles used by officers have more than 200,000 miles on them. While some units are newer, others are 2014 and 2012 and are expensive to maintain. But it’s not easy to get new cars right now.
With COVID and supply chain issues, it’s harder for BRPD to replace its fleet. The BRPD says it has 280 units on order right now, and over time that number is only going to grow while more units are out.
“We started this process in 2020, and now with a shortage of cars for everyone, we have to deal with that just like everyone else,” McKneely said.
For maintenance reasons, the BRPD was hoping to switch to one vehicle, but the wait time for the Chevy Tahoes alone will be even longer. BRPD has reached out to other suppliers and their fleet will also include Dodge Durangos and Ford Explorers. Several units, aside from that 280, have been to the BRPD recently. About 30 of those units still can’t be used because they’re not equipped – more supply chain problems.
“They have to get equipment, and the equipment itself is backlog so we’re waiting in the car, we’re waiting for the equipment, and we’re doing the best we can with what we have,” he said. speak.
That meant doubling down on some of the 580 officers until the new units they had were able to hit the road and the others moved in.
“The new officers are driving their individual cars to the counties and then they’ll double up with other officers.”
Then they go to service calls. The BRPD wants officers to be in their units so they can answer various calls and for display purposes.
There is no real time frame for when 280 units will arrive. All the BRPD knows is that they are coming in and in constant communication with the agents.