South San ISD officials admit police cars in bad shape

SAN ANTONIO – In the South San Independent School District, parents there are worried that if an emergency happens at a school, district police won't be able to respond because their police cars are in such bad shape.

In the wake of last week's school shooting in Washington, KSAT's Defenders investigated the concerns of South San parents.

Documents uncovered by the Defenders showed that 90 percent of the South San ISD police cars are in poor shape or wrecked.

South San reported that out of 10 police vehicles, eight were in poor condition, one was wrecked and one was in fair condition.

Recent problems include a vehicle that starts but then turns off by itself, one with popping noises in the front tires, bad steering and an engine making strange sounds, and one where the transmission is slipping.

Parents said they had no idea the police cars were in such bad shape.

"I thought that all police vehicles would be in excellent running condition," said Amanda Duran.

"It does look kind of shabby out here," Jose Lopez said. "These cars they're driving are kind of old."

District officials admit they have a problem.

"We admit that we have an aging fleet, there's no getting around it," South San ISD spokesman Ed Suarez said. "A lot of these cars are old."

One is from 1992 and is no longer used.

Suarez said others may be in bad shape but they do work.

"They're still functional vehicles as far as we know," he said. "There's no issue of the wheels falling off or the engine block just dropping while you're taking a call."

He says the superintendent does have a plan to replace vehicles over the next couple of years.

Recently South San's board approved the purchase of two Ford Interceptor utility vehicles for the district police department. There's no word when they will be placed in service.