The Baton Rouge Police Department has added more than 70 patrol cars to help replenish its depleted fleet, thanks to funding approval from the city-parish government.
The department thanked the mayor-president, Metro Council and taxpayers for their assistance in a social media post on the Baton Rouge Police Department page Friday, stating the force will add 35 unmarked units and 38 new marked units.
In 2017, The Advocate reported the average age of the Baton Rouge cop car fleet had more than doubled since 2009 as the flow of new units slowed. The 2016 floods stretched the force even thinner as rising waters destroyed 93 units.
Lost vehicles further strained the department’s old fleet, which were found to be prone to breakdowns, with spare vehicles in short supply. Patrol officers, who generally work shifts with one officer in each car to maximize manpower, were forced double-up on patrol.
Given the daily strain officers put on vehicles, most police departments try to replace vehicles regularly. The Houston Police Department, for example, tries to replace all its vehicles after five years.