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Microchip shortage impacting how quickly North Alabama law enforcement agencies replace patrol cars

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The nationwide microchip shortage is impacting the production of cars.

It’s causing an unexpected headache to some local law-enforcement agencies needing to get deputies into new vehicles.

Brent Patterson, Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said it’s not that police cruisers aren’t coming in. They are just coming in slower than usual.

Typically, the process of ordering and receiving patrol cars takes 10 to 14 weeks. 

Some police departments are being impacted more than others.

Decatur Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriff's Office said cars took several months to come in after ordering.

Decatur police ordered a vehicle in 2020 and didn't receive it until August 2021. The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said it ordered a vehicle in 2020 and received it just recently.

Patterson said production issues are impacting more than just patrol cars.

“You’ve got emergency equipment in these vehicles that need to be equipped as well,” said Patterson. “It’s not just your vehicles. It is everything that properly equips these vehicles.”

Huntsville Police Department officials said they have seen a slowdown in receiving cars, but the department has enough right now.

The pandemic played a massive role in slowing down production. Experts say the chip shortage will impact automakers for the majority of the next year.

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