Westwood PD adds CO detectors after Ford announces potential leaks

WESTWOOD, Mass. — More than a million Ford Explorers are being investigated for possible carbon monoxide issues.

One police department in Texas pulled its entire fleet of vehicles after dozens of officers complained. Now, a local police chief is making sure his officers are safe behind the wheel.

The Westwood Police Department is the first in the state to take precautionary measures, but the police chief says it's better safe, than sorry.

He's not sure what the problem may be, but he just installed carbon monoxide detectors in all of his Ford SUVs, just to be safe.

“Candidly, we know there've been some problems, but we don't know what they are and so it's just risk management,” said Westwood Police Chief Jeff Silva.

The carbon monoxide detectors have been installed in about a dozen of Chief Silva’s police cruiser SUVs, the vehicles that Ford says could have carbon monoxide leaks after officers around the country reported getting sick.

“An officer unknowingly could be out on patrol and as soon as he or she started to feel ill, it would literally be almost too late,” said Chief Silva.

Ford says the problem comes only with these special SUVs, made specifically for police officers and they're still investigating the issue.

Ford sent Boston 25 News the following statement regarding the issue:

“Safety is our top priority. We have not found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in regular Ford Explorers. To address police customers who drive modified vehicles in unique ways, we are covering the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have carbon monoxide concerns.”

Chief Silva hopes there's a solution soon since, he says, these SUVs have become more efficient than their sedans.

“It was really, what we thought would be the next great thing, in terms of police products from Ford because it gave you all of the benefits, from ground clearance, to traction for inclement weather,” said Chief Silva.

But for now, instead of taking them off the roads, Silva says the detectors will be a good precaution to avoid any dangers.

“You can't put a price tag on the safety of the officers,” said Chief Silva.

Carbon monoxide is odorless so it would be tough for officers to know if their cruiser is dangerous so Chief Silva says he'll keep those detectors in until we find out more about the problem.