The DEA received this important information from the Austin, Texas Police Department via the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) regarding a significant risk to Officer safety and health when operating Ford Explorer vehicles because of Carbon Monoxide fumes entering the vehicle.
During the weekend of March 18-19, 2017, one of Austin P.D.’s Sergeants was overcome by exhaust fumes entering the passenger compartment of the patrol vehicle, causing significant injury to the Sergeant. Ford and NHTSA are apparently aware of the problem.
The DEA wants to make our members aware of this situation, too. Please read the following report:
Risk Management Safety Bulletin
Possible Risk of Carbon Monoxide Gas
By the Austin Police Department
There have been a few recent media reports about incidents where drivers have potentially been affected by Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes while operating late model Ford Explorers. This includes Police Officers driving the newer Patrol version. There have been two reported incidents within the Austin Police Department: one was for lightheadedness while driving a patrol SUV; the other was for a suspicious odor that a Sergeant was concerned about while he was operating a patrol SUV.
The Ford Motor company, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the issue. Their testing and research has not resulted in any direct conclusions about CO poisoning from these particular models, or the need to conduct a recall on any of the Ford Explorer SUV recent year models. The COA Fleet Services is aware of the issue and is actively monitoring this situation. APD Risk Management is working with COA Fleet Services and other partners to stay current with the latest information.
At this time, APD Risk Management is not aware of any information to indicate that APD should discontinue use of late model Ford Explorers. Instead, Officers should be aware of the inherent, but remote risks posed by CO that are always present when operating a motor vehicle, and should take some basic steps to reduce those risks.
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is emitted by ALL motor vehicles that burn fossil fuels.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of CO poisoning are as follows:
Headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in enough CO gas it can cause unconsciousness which can lead to death.
There are some reports stating that the risk of CO gas exposure is increased while the vehicle’s ventilation system (A/C, Heat, and fan) is set on “recirculate.” The recirculate button is located on the dash console. This button determines whether or not your car is cooling or heating fresh air from outside the car, or using the air within the car (re-circulated air). Using the vehicle’s air conditioning system with the control set to recirculation “on” will generally cool the vehicle faster and help the vehicle stay cooler, because you’re constantly using the cool air from within the car for air conditioning. In non-recirculation mode, when you’re using fresh air from outside the vehicle (which is much warmer in the summer), the air conditioning must work continuously to cool the hot air while pulling it into the vehicle. This creates additional work for the A/C system. Another benefit to using recirculate is when you need to avoid unpleasant odors and fumes from outside the vehicle, such as during heavy traffic congestion.
Using recirculate is generally the better option for fuel efficiency and climate control when operating the A/C, however, there is a POSSIBLE increase in the risk of contaminating the cabin air with CO from the vehicle exhaust system when recirculating air. Officers should be cognizant of the potential danger and introduce fresh air from the outside as regularly as possible. There has been no evidence in NHTSA’s recent investigation that would indicate the need to stop using the recirculate button entirely.
Officers can take several steps to recognize and protect themselves from possible danger. These steps should always be taken, regardless of any current media reports, because CO inhalation is ALWAYS a danger when operating a motor vehicle:
1. When you are using a vehicle that will be idling for long periods of time (traffic control, street closures, etc.), be sure to allow fresh air to enter the cabin on a regular basis.
2. Maintain awareness of your condition and mental state. If you begin feeling any of the above listed symptoms, introduce fresh air into your unit’s cabin.
3. Exit the vehicle on a regular basis to obtain fresh air. This will also help in your blood circulation.
4. If you are becoming lethargic or excessively tired, open the vehicle windows or exit the vehicle and get fresh air.
5. Pay attention to where you park. Most CO inhalation deaths that occur in motor vehicles occur when the driver is in an enclosed space (garage), when snow or mud obstructs the exhaust pipe, or when the terrain restricts the free flow of exhaust fumes away from the vehicle.
APD Risk Management will continue to track the Ford and NHTSA studies and will update Department personnel with important safety information.
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The Community Mayors of NY/NJ, which the DEA has been involved with for many years, is looking for volunteers for their spring 2017 season. The Community Mayors assists children with special needs, and their motto is, “No one is so tall as when they stoop to help a handicapped child.”
While updates can be found at their website at --http://www.communitymayors.org/about.htm
The spring season of hosting children with disabilities and special needs is slated as follows:
April 5 — St. John’s Athletes and Kids
April 28 — Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
May 5 — Earth Day w/ Poly Prep / Conference House Park, Staten Island, NY
May 10 — Deno’s Wonder Wheel
May 17 — Luna Park
May 24 — Adventurers
June 1 — Prospect Park Zoo
Check under “Kids Events” listed on the website.
Volunteers should arrive at all venues by 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Call (908) 268-9016 for more information or to volunteer.
One of the “positives” coming out of the Trump Administration is the appointment of former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. The new AG announced the Justice Department will “pull back” on the Obama Administration’s policy of diminishing local law enforcement’s effectiveness. Under Obama, the Justice Department investigated 25 local Police and Sheriff Departments around the country, which resulted in several federal lawsuits and consent decrees being levied on those Departments. Sessions indicated that as a profession, law enforcement has been unfairly maligned and blamed for a few controversial incidents: leading cops across the country to feel that the political leadership of the country abandoned them. Sessions said instead of dictating to and suing local Police Departments, the Justice Department should spend its limited funds on helping Departments fight crime and terrorism.
DEA President Michael Palladino sent a letter to the Police Commissioner asking him to resurrect the program that permits Detectives to work a week of their vacation time on a volunteer basis. Staffing in most Detective commands is short, so allowing Detectives to work a week of their vacation would be a win-win situation for both the Department and the members, especially during summertime when staffing is depleted, because it’s when many Officers take their vacation time.
On Monday, March 6, 2017, Tyrone Howard was found GUILTY of Murder in the first degree, robbery, and other charges related to the shooting death of Det. Randolph Holder. Howard now faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole. The DEA thanks all those who attended the trial and for the support showed to the Holder family.
Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, April 3, Part 51 at 100 Centre Street, Manhattan.
President Trump recently nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, which would bring the Court to full staffing. Judge Gorsuch is a Conservative and is not labor friendly. On February 8th, DEA President Palladino had a discussion about the confirmation process with U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic minority leader.
NAPO opposes the National Right to Work Act (H.R. 785), which would repeal the provisions of the federal NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) that permits employers to require employees to join a union as a condition of employment. It would also roll back the Railway Labor Act, to remove provisions of the act allowing railroad carriers to require payroll deductions of union dues or fair share fees as a condition of employment. While neither of these Acts cover local Police Officers or Deputies, this represents a significant attack on labor and an attempt at curtailing employees’ rights to bargain collectively for wages, hours, and working conditions. If passed, it could also serve as a model for state “right to work” laws across the country, which could directly impact Officers and Deputies. 27 states currently have such “right to work” laws.
On Friday, March 10, 2017, the DEA met with the City for a collective bargaining session regarding the impact of the PBA’s 2.25% differential on third grade Detective’s pay. The DEA already had two informal meetings with the City: on February 6th and 10th. No progress was made; however, both sides agreed to continue meeting in the near future.
The scale below reflects the current and future figures for third grade pay for the remainder of our contract, which expires on March 31, 2019. Your individual night shift amount depends on the chart you are performing and your years of service.
Current Pay Scale 3rd Grade Detectives Investigators and Specialists
|Date||% Increase||Top Base Pay||
|Holiday Pay||Uniform Allowance||Total|
|January 1, 2018||2.5%||$94,448||$9,465||$8,501||$4,384||$1,120||$117,918|
|December 18, 2018||3.0%||$97,322||$9,750||$8,758||$4,517||$1,120||$121,467|
PBA top pay with Neighborhood Policing Differential ……………………………………….............$ 106,107
The New York State Police have created an easy and cost-free process that allows pistol/revolver licensees to complete re-certification online at -- http://troopers.ny.gov/firearms
Paper forms are also available at any New York State Police station.
Pistol/Revolver license re-certifications in New York State are currently only required for those permits originally issued before January 15, 2013. If your permit was issued before January 15, 2013, the deadline to submit your recertification is January 31, 2018.
Be advised this online process does not apply to those with permits in New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, or Westchester County. If you currently have a permit in any one of those locations, you must follow the requirements that are in place in that county.