The i3 cop cars aren't doing donuts, just donut runs.Remember all those BMW i3 hatchbacks that the Los Angeles Police Department adopted back in 2016? About 100 of them? Well, it appears as if they aren't being used very much, or for the right reasons. At least, that's the situation according to the local CBS news affiliate, KCBS-TV, whose David Goldstein mounted an investigation into the matter.
Using hidden cameras, stealth pursuits, and surprise confrontations, the news team found that police force officials are sometimes using the vehicles for personal errands, while use for their intended purpose — transportation vehicles for officers and in community outreach initiatives — has been somewhat lacking. Documents shown in the news video (above) reveal the mileage of many of the panda-patterned cars to be below 4,000 miles. One, which we imagine to be the worst case, only saw 600 miles on the streets since May of 2016. That doesn't appear to be much usage.
Now, we don't have a big problem with them being for burger runs and such if it's replacing the use of a gas-powered car, but understand if Angelenos, who are picking up the $10.2 million tab for the vehicles, do. It's not helpful for anyone to have poorly conceived and executed programs like this.
Confronted with evidence of personal trips to nail salons and school runs, LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas had this to say:
"We want to be responsive to the community. It’s all a part of saving the Earth, going green … quite frankly, to try and save money for the community and the taxpayers.”
Besides that (somewhat unconvincing) statement, he promised reporters that he would look into what the reporters found. He did, though, claim the program is a success and expects more EVs to be added to the fleet. Of course, with electric cars being the future, we have to agree with him on that point. We just hope they are on the streets and not tucked away in their garage.
Source: KCBS-TV via YouTube