The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is in the spotlight after an inmate filed a claim against the city for its lack of seat belts in some prisoner transport vehicles. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the inmate alleges that he suffered severe injuries to his head, back, and ankles because the prisoner wagon he was transported in did not have seat belts.
Nancy Crowley, director of communications for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, told Government Fleet that the sheriff’s fleet includes 29 passenger vans and six wagons specifically used for inmate and arrestee transport. All of the passenger vans have seat belts, one wagon has seat belts, and one wagon has pull straps. The other four wagons do not have any method of restraint for passengers.
All new vehicles ordered since 2016 have had and will have seat belts, according to Crowley. As of March 2019, four vans are scheduled to begin service shortly and five additional vans are being ordered. Crowley could not comment on if/when the old vans will be retired.