Bill Tops $1 Million to Fix Police Cars Damaged During Civil Unrest

The squad cars were damaged in two days of not-so-peaceful protests in LA in May.

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More than 150 patrol cars were damaged during two days of civil unrest in the city of Los Angeles last month and the total cost to taxpayers -- over $1 million.

"You can see here the officer's water bottles, the metal water bottles, so they didn't have time to gather any of their belongings," said mark wyrick, the lapd auto body repair supervisor.

Wyrick is usually working on patrol cars such as one that got T-boned in a severe crash earlier this month.

But it was after two days of not-so-peaceful protests in LA in May that led to patrol car after patrol car, smashed, slashed or scorched.

"These are 100% totaled," he said. "We can't salvage anything from these vehicles. I've been in my position about 11 years now. This is the worst I've seen."

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the patrol vehicles are critical to be able to police the 468 square miles of Los Angeles and that proposed budget cuts have forced the department to conduct a top-to-bottom review of every line item, including the money for squad cars.

The 'black and white' is literally a police officer's office," he said. "The nearly one-million dollars in damage to our fleet during the recent protests will make it even more difficult to replace our already aging fleet."


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He added that the increased miles officers will be putting on their current vehicles will result in additional associated maintenance costs. The department's current replacement rate is 125,000 miles or 10 years of service.

"We are projected to have 300 vehicles that are needed for patrol this year that exceed those thresholds."

The majority were windshields bashed in, tires slashed, hoods peels back on them, wires cut, fuel lines cut.

It's not his job to figure out how these vehicles were damaged or find those who caused it. But it is his job to find a way to save taxpayer money to get those that are fixable back on LA streets.

The vehicle is worth quite a bit more than that because of what it's equipped with. That's where the biggest cost loss comes, all the technology inside even the older cruisers - digital dash cams, license plate readers, weaponry.

Nearly a month after the unrest unleashed mayhem on the streets, most of those damaged vehicles are back on the road, some still needing more repair.

"We had to pull mechanics from three different shops in the days after the events just to get enough vehicles repaired and back in the streets so officers could field their watches," Wyrick said.

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