Monday, April 21, 2014
One of the major expenses in running a patrol operation is the cost of the patrol vehicles. One way to help minimize costs is with a proper training and inspection program. It’s surprising to me how few officers actually know how to inspect a patrol vehicle.
Do a general walk around of the vehicle. Look for new dents, scratches and other obvious damage. Each vehicle should have a vehicle damage sheet inside with a notation of all damage. Any new damage should be noted at the start of the shift and initialed by a supervisor. Then inspect the interior, including the glove box, center console, under the seats, and in the trunk.
Not only are you looking for damage, you are looking for contraband and making sure you have all your equipment. You need crime scene tape, charged fire extinguisher, first aid kit, jack, spare tire and other gear. Go over your electronics. Check your lights, the standard vehicle equipment, headlights, tail lights, but also your emergency lights and equipment. Get out of the vehicle and make sure they are all working. Check the horn, turn signals, brake lights, and siren too as well as your spotlights. Working gear prevents injuries, keeps down costs and even saves lives; that's what the SGT Says.