FORT SMITH (KFSM) — It's an issue you wouldn't guess just by looking at it. The police vehicles at the Fort Smith Police Department are visibly worn out.
"This is (a) classic, 'don't judge a book by its cover' type thing... . There's a piece of metal back here that's actually catching on the weapon and damaging our handguns."
Grubbs explained that while an officer got out of his vehicle, his gun was caught by the metal and as a result, the bottom portion of hims magazine ripped off.
With the exposed framing and worn out padding, the officers often endure nine hours a day in morale-busting conditions.
"Some (vehicles), have more than 200,000 miles, and in my 18-year career, that's the first time I've seen that."
Grubbs added that even among problems like man power shortages and the lack of pay raises at the department, the cars were the thing that really drew the attention of Chief Nathaniel Clark.
"Chief's got some great ideas. He's working one-on-one with some of the board of directors of coming up with means to fix this."
But in the mean time, the officers have had to find ways to adapt.
"We've created two shifts for these vehicles to where at least half of the fleet will be parked during an entire shift."
Grubbs said he wants the public to understand how important an issue this really is.
"Once we get five new (cars), we usually retire five of our worst cars, but between budget cuts and monetary issues in the city, it just has not happened."