May 22, 2018

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Lock the Door, Take the Keys: Securing Public Safety Vehicles

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement, Fire & Rescue

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s tip deals with a topic that can be very embarrassing to you and your agency – the theft of emergency vehicles 

The number 1 cause of emergency vehicle theft is leaving the keys in the ignition with the engine running!

While it doesn’t happen even day, it happens more than you might think. What do you think is the number one cause of this? Leaving the keys in the ignition with the engine running. It is not just police cars either. This can and does occur with fire apparatus and ambulances too.  

Think about how many times you get out of your vehicle in a shift. How we stop and park and get out becomes routine. I know of some officers who get in the habit of leaving the vehicle running.  

Our department vehicles are not immune to theft. Sometimes we are dealing with people who are looking for an escape route. We provide them with a running vehicle just steps away. 

The simple solution is to establish a routine. Turn the vehicle off. Take the keys out of the ignition. Lock and close the door when you leave.  

But there are times we need to keep a scene lit up with emergency lights or we want to keep our mobile video system running. Turning the engine off would kill the battery in short order. Some vehicles are equipped with a system that allows the engine to idle without the key. If you don’t have such a system, you should keep a spare set of keys and at least lock and close the doors behind you.   

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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