Ford Employees Ask Company to Stop Making Police Vehicles, CEO Says No
National protests for racial justice and against police brutality inspired some Ford employees to rethink the company’s relationship with the police, according to The Verge. Employees have asked the company to stop making and selling police vehicles, but CEO Jim Hackett said Ford will continue its business with law enforcement agencies.
“Employees — including Black workers who are part of Ford’s African Ancestry Network (FAAN) employee resource group — have circulated a letter asking the company to cease development, production, and sale of all custom police vehicles and products,” The Verge said.
An unknown number of other employees have signed the letter and requested the company take some kind of action by July 15, according to Jalopnik.
Ford is the leading automaker in the United States when it comes to manufacturing and selling specially-designed vehicles for law enforcement, making up two-thirds of the market, according to The Verge. The company said its commercial vehicles benefit from new technologies tested in the police vehicles, such as hybrid electric drivetrains.
Hackett said in a letter to employees that he doesn’t think it’s “controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job,” The Verge reported. He thanked employees for speaking up, but said Ford won’t cease production of police vehicles.
In his letter, Hackett said taking away Ford’s specially-built vehicles “would be doing harm to [police officers] safety and making it harder for them to do their job,” The Verge reported.
“Again, this is why, given our insights, new capabilities and leadership, I believe these unfortunate circumstances present Ford with an even greater opportunity to not only innovate new solutions but also leverage our unique position to support the dialogue and reform needed to create safer communities for all,” Hackett wrote to employees.