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Austin Police Officers Say Their SUVs Are Making Them Sick

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Austin police officers have reported at least 10 incidents involving high carbon monoxide levels in their patrol cars.

From Texas Standard:

The men and women of law enforcement are known for putting themselves at risk to protect their communities, but the Austin Police Department is now facing a new, invisible danger.


Since the beginning of this year, Austin police officers have reported 10 incidents involving high levels of carbon monoxide in their patrol vehicles – Ford Explorer SUVs modified for use by law enforcement. The worst involved Sgt. Zachary LaHood who was poisoned in his vehicle, leading to neurological injuries that have kept him off duty for months.

Tony Plohetski, an investigative reporter for the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, says officers are left wondering if their patrol vehicles are safe, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigates.


Written by Rachel Rascoe.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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