Each day our officers spend hours in their squad cars. At various times throughout each shift, officers exit their squad cars to make a traffic stop, interact with the public or attend a roll call in the Police Department. When they do so, they often leave their squad cars running and occasionally people ask us why.
An officer’s squad car is filled with equipment that is powered by the car’s battery, including a mobile computer, radar device, police radio and squad car cameras. When the squad car is turned off, that equipment stays on and drains the car’s battery. When time is critical, officers can’t be hampered with the potential of a dead car battery.
In addition, all squad cars contain climate-sensitive medical equipment, including Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and naloxone (an inhalant used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose), that can be affected by extreme heat or cold. Keeping a squad car running ensures the proper climate for this lifesaving equipment.
And finally, keeping our officers comfortable in their squad cars allows them to perform their jobs better.