The Howell City Council met recently and approved a funding request for the upfitting of two Ford police vehicles.

The two new units were ordered to replace two Chevy Tahoe’s and the next step is upfitting. It’s said to be a limited profession because it requires a high level of quality and workmanship. However, officials say the city is fortunate and has a local business specializing in the profession. However, Ford has had some issues nationally with carbon monoxide emissions in SUV Interceptors linked to injures and even deaths among police officers. Ford is attributing to the second party upfitting of police gear in cruisers.

DPW Director Erv Suida tells WHMI when a Ford police vehicle is purchased; it’s then taken to a separate company to be upfitted with the lights, sirens, radios and other necessary police equipment. He says a company has to put holes through floors, walls and firewalls but if done improperly, carbon monoxide can come into the cab from the engine area or underneath the vehicle, posing safety issues. Suida says that has not been the case in Howell as they’ve had the cruisers for a few years and the company has done an excellent job.

The city had four vehicles recalled by Ford to have some work done to correct any potential issues. Ford did the corrections and no issues were found but Suida says they still went through the motions and did the safety improvements.

Council approved a price not to exceed $25,991 for the upfitting of the two 2018 Ford police vehicles by Cruisers of Howell, which has been upfitting city vehicles for the past 15 years. Once the work is complete, it will finish the conversion of the entire fleet to the Ford SUV Interceptor. (JM)