Media Coverage of PBA´s stand on Crown Victorias in use by New York State Police

Media Coverage of PBA’s stand on Crown Victorias in use by New York State Police
PBA, 2003-01-03

The PBA has received widespread media coverage regarding its advice to its members, Troopers and uniformed State Police supervisors through the rank of Major, to refuse to drive Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars unless they have been retrofitted with plastic shields. The shields are designed to reduce the likelihood of a gas tank explosion in rear end crashes. Simultaneous with the advice to its members, the PBA also demanded that the Division of State Police (Division) take all affected Crown Victorias out of service until they could be properly retrofitted.

A press advisory that explained the PBA’s direction to its members and its demands to Division was issued by the PBA on the morning of January 2. Later in the afternoon, Division released its own press advisory, which read in part: “Superintendent James W. McMahon has directed that the retrofit installation of these shields be completed without delay….We have enough patrol vehicles fitted with these shields so that we have advised our supervisors that no vehicle remaining without a shield be used for patrol purposes.”

These steps were taken by the PBA after the tragic death of Trooper Robert Ambrose on December 19, 2002. Trooper Ambrose was killed when the Crown Victoria he was in was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle in Yonkers. The patrol car, which had not been retrofitted with the plastic shield, burst into flames.

The entire family of the PBA continues to grieve for the loss of Trooper Ambrose.

As always, the PBA continues to examine ways to make the job of its members as safe as possible.

The PBA’s action in this matter received news coverage across the state from newspapers and television and radio stations. PBA President Daniel M. De Federicis and local PBA troop delegates were interviewed by various media outlets. Newspapers such as Newsday in Long Island, the New York Post in New York City, the Times Union in Albany, the Times Herald Record in Middletown, The Journal News of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties and the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, as well as television and radio stations in Buffalo carried the story. President De Federicis continued to be interviewed today for follow-up stories by the media.

Listed below are a number of links to coverage of the story by various media outlets on January 3, 2003.

Times Union (Albany):

Newsday (Long Island):

NY Post (New York City):

Daily News (New York City):

In addition, to view a streaming video excerpt of President De Federicis’ interview with television station Capital News 9 in Albany, click on this link: