Major changes are in the works for Baltimore City police vans. Close to a quarter of a million dollars will soon be spent on new designs to improve officer and prisoner safety.
The issue of safety came into light last April when 25-year-old Freddie Gray suffered a severe spinal injury after he was loaded in the back of a police van. Gray died a week later.
His death sparked riots and led to six officers being charged for their role in his arrest and death.
Center walls that were used as a divider are now gone, giving police more access to prisoners; seats were turned to bucket seats to stop prisoners from sliding; and a side door was added for an extra entryway, WJZ TV reports.
Changes will be made to 13 existing vans while 10 new ones are bought. Each will be equipped with video cameras.
Police say they’re hoping the new vans are in place by March.