Hardware store helps Decatur Police protect officers from carbon monoxide poisoning

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DECATUR, Ala. - Police departments across the country are on edge this week, after dozens of reports that the exhaust manifold of Ford Explorers made for police departments could be leaking toxic levels of carbon monoxide.

Thankfully, the Decatur Police department is fairly confident their model of the Ford Explorer is not specifically impacted by the issue, but are still taking proactive steps to make sure everyone who rides in one of their patrol vehicles is safe on the road.

“As soon as we see something like that is happening across the country, we want to make sure our officers are safe," said Lt. Proncey Robertson of Decatur Police.

Robertson said, the manufacturer told them the problem seems to be more persistent with law enforcement agencies that add on a lot of aftermarket features to their vehicles.

“In our case, we purchased the vehicles straight from Ford with the factory harnesses in the vehicle, so we don’t anticipate any issues," he said.

They decided to look into getting carbon monoxide detectors anyway.

“We approached our local Lowe's just to get a price quote on adding the carbon monoxide detectors into our vehicles," said Lt. Robertson.

The phone call may have ended with a price estimate, but no money was exchanged that day.

Joey Williams is the Assistant Manager of the Lowe's on the Beltline.

“They’re out there risking their lives every day so the best thing to do is to help them out when we can," said Williams.

So Joey left the store and donated in person, a carbon monoxide detector for every Ford Explorer in Decatur's fleet.

“We do what we can to make their job a little easier," explained Williams.

Lt. Robertson said, it's an honor to serve Decatur every day, but when moments like these come along, it never fails to take their breath away.

"We want to be a support to them, and when we see them return that concern if you will, and work with us as a partner, it’s real encouragement to our street officers and the community in general," said Robertson. 

The kind of breathlessness, not always detected, but deserving of praise.

“That’s the way it should be, each of us working together," said Robertson. 

“It feels good to do the right thing,” said Williams.

We did the math, donating 25 carbon monoxide detectors equals out to just under 500 dollars worth of merchandise, all at no cost to Decatur Police.

As for the issue with Ford Explorers, the automaker told CBS News in a statement, "All of our testing to date has not shown cracked manifolds contributing to the carbon monoxide levels in Police Interceptor Utilities. We continue to investigate."