Monday, January 16th, 2017

Police vehicle gas tanks punctured by radio installations

Call it an “Oops” moment, a very expensive oops moment. The installation of air cards and radio repeaters in local Sheriff’s Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles could have ended badly if the puncture wounds in the gas tanks hadn’t eventually triggered the check engine lights.

After patrol officers began noticing the check engine lights, it was discovered that Finger Lakes Communication Company; an authorized Motorola two way radio dealer and service center had drilled through the gas tanks of 18 of the 22 patrol vehicles.

According to Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, had the officers not noticed, there could have been a fire, an explosion or a deputy could have been overtaken by fumes. The Sheriff reported that no one was injured.

Three weeks after learning that the tanks were punctured, the Sheriff’s Office is now in the process of having the gas tanks replaced by the Wayne County Highway Department’s central garage head mechanic Dan McKinney and his staff.

Sheriff Virts stated that Finger Lakes Communication has taken responsibility for their error and will be paying for all expenses to replace the gas tanks. Virts said the cost to replace each gas tank is $352, labor is $126 per job, which takes three hours per tank and materials for a new undercoat on each vehicle is $6 per coat. The total cost will be $8712.    by Jessica Colon