Police cars resistant to COVID-19 could come to Calif. city

The new vehicles would be outfitted to more safely transport subjects with signs or symptoms of COVID-19


By Brian Whitehead
San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.

SAN BERNADINO, Calif. — A handful of police vehicles equipped to protect officers and passengers from the novel coronavirus could soon be coming to San Bernardino.

While the cars would not come off the lot with the necessary materials, they eventually would be outfitted with non-porous surfaces that can easily be decontaminated. Additionally, the rear passenger compartment would be sealed from the front passenger compartment and have a separate system to supply air conditioning and heating.

Between the depletion of supplies, temporary removal of equipment and reduced personnel for quarantine purposes, the coronavirus pandemic has harmed law enforcement agencies in myriad ways, acting police Chief Eric McBride said in a staff report prepared for the City Council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19.

The new vehicles would be available to transport subjects with signs or symptoms of COVID-19, the potentially lethal disease the virus causes.

Policymakers could approve the purchase this week.

Five cars would be purchased from San Bernardino Fairview Ford at $41,000 each, for a total price tag of $205,000. Bids for the installation of COVID-19 resistance equipment, meanwhile, would be presented to city leaders at a later date.

Police officials intend to use part of a $633,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant they received this summer to cover the cost.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday via web conference.

©2020 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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