KCK police chief speaks out on photos posted of damaged cruisers

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Some KCK officers are facing discipline after casting the department in a bad light on Facebook.

Kansas City, Kansas Police Chief Terry Zeigler said posting photos of police cars in states of disrepair goes against the department's social media policy.

Zeigler wouldn't say how many officers were suspended, saying that it was a personnel issue, but did say that it's no secret the department needs to replace some of its old fleet.

"Yeah, the cars look bad. We know that. It's not the image we want of our police department, kind of out of our control," Zeigler said.

The pictures show the cars with rust, peeling paint, and damaged interiors on a page called Police Cars Matter. Chief Zeigler said the patrol cars are part of the department's old fleet of 2009 crown Victoria cruisers; vehicles he said the department is trying to replace.

Zeigler said there were problems with the paint, but only became apparent after the police department warranty ran out.

The chief said it would cost the department $1,300 to repaint each of the 20 patrol cars.

"To go back and repaint those cars, some agencies have put paint on the cars but within three years the paint peels back off. It's not going to do us any good to throw good money on a bad car," said Chief Zeigler.

Ziegler says the department will have 28 new cars on the street by the end of the year.

Some residents told FOX 4 they don't care how the police cars look. They just want the officers to do their job.

"As long as the cars run and they're safe to be on the street, I don't think paint should matter. I think response time should matter," resident Rosetta Peery said.

The chief said he doesn't want cosmetic issues to be a concern, and overshadow the good things the police doing for the community.

He said  when the new cars do roll out, they'll have more lights on them to make the officers more visible. He said he also plans to get tablets for the force, so that officers can ditch the pen and paper and file reports electronically.

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