By on March 24, 2014

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When Ford killed off the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, the police car market was left wide open. But the Blue Oval appears to have managed to brought a suitable replacement to market, though it’s not the traditional three-box police sedan.

Many departments found the Dodge Charger too cramped and the Chevrolet Caprice a tough sell to those in charge of purchasing (due to not being built in America). Ford’s Taurus Interceptor was tested by TTAC, and it too, was found to be too small for most police officers wearing a utility belt and holster.

According to USA Today, the Explorer-based Utility Interceptor appears to be the most popular Ford police car, and the best-selling police vehicle in America. Last year, Ford sold roughly 14,000 UIs while moving just under 11,000 of the Taurus based Interceptors, for an overall police vehicle market share of about 50 percent.

The UI’s larger interior and ability to hold more gear appears to be a big draw for many departments, and is the natural extension of the trend towards the adoption of the Chevrolet Tahoe (which will finally get an all-wheel drive Pursuit Rated version to compete with the AWD UI). Officers apparently like being higher up and enjoy the space that the two-box bodystyle affords. The balance hasn’t completly tipped in favor of the UI, and many departments are still happy with sedans. But the shift towards SUVs and CUVs in place of large sedans could be a harbinger for the broader auto market.

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116 Comments on “America’s Best Selling Police Car Is Now A Crossover...”


  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Is this thing a fairly stable high speed pursuit vehicle since it’s based on a Taurus?

    I would think its high center of gravity would make it less suited to high speed maneuvers. I don’t know though since I’ve never driven one.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’ve driven both, but I can’t say I’ve driving the Explorer PI all that aggressively. It does very well for what it is, but it’s still a crossover and can’t touch the Taurus PI for hard maneuvers. The Explorer PI is probably more along the lines of the old CVPI, but quicker.

    • 0 avatar

      Being that the old Panther platform was the old police car of choice, it’d seem the handling could not be possibly any worse.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Taxi passengers agree! For MOST of the time, cruising at normal speeds in a vehicle with a high seating position and visibility all around gets the job done. For high speed pursuits it’s best to leave it up to the police secret weapon: the Motorola radio and the helicopter it can call to the scene. Between them, they can coordinate police cars to track and capture any perp – as seen on TV.

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      High speed handling is great…but high speed handling is a scant percentage of what a cruiser has to do. Police vehicles are something you have to live with day in, day out, for years. The mundane concerns of every day living along with all the extra stuff you have to carry around if you’re a cop tends to win out over everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbobjoe

      As much as the Michigan highway patrol testing of police vehicles gets lots of attention, it does not appear that police departments buy vehicles based on performance but size. Even in the Police version, the Crown Vic wasn’t a particular fast vehicle, it was merely fast for a Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Congratulations to the 10mpg new police trucklet in an era of near bankrupt [local/state] gov’t and closing in on $4/gas, yes we needed this.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      It’s MPG is quite a bit better than the outgoing CVPI.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        CVPIs in non-highway use return 13-15 and the 3900 Impala 15-16.

        • 0 avatar
          TEXN3

          I’m not sure the relevance of your comment then, unless you’re assuming the Explorer is WOT all the time. I’ve been driving my in-laws 13 Explorer Sport and I’ve been seeing an average of 17 around town and with the turbos singing. Of course, I don’t leave it idling for much of a day… Not much Ford could do about the user.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In police usage with the Taurus I’m told its 10-12mpg and the Explorer slightly less at 10 on avg. Idling might be part of it I’m not really sure. My point was ye old 3800/3900 W-bodies fare much better in terms of fuel economy in police use as did the 4.6 Panthers. So progress has brought us a 1/3rd reduction in fuel economy which will impact fleet budgets and a local gov’t near you.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’ve heard about the same as the CV with the AWD Ecoboost six. Its a significantly better car than the CV/Impala, no matter how poetic one wants to wax about a panther or W.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Evidently it handles very well in high speed pursuits and is surely the better ride, although my point is about fuel economy and how it will impact us all.

          • 0 avatar

            The non-turbo PI has the 3.7 v6 in it. I’ve only driven our demo vehicle around the parking lot at the dealership, but it’s noticeably quicker than a stock explorer. The idea that the old 3 valve 4.6 is more efficient at idle is laughable.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Idle perhaps but that’s only part of the story. I think its the AWD system that’s killing the mileage, not necessarily the motor. I suggested below in a later thread Ford should have designed the system so power to the rear wheels could be turned off outside of X speed. When these things are on basic patrol there is no reason to turn all four wheels, just wastes gas at low rpms. I suspect this wasn’t even contemplated in product development back in the early to mid 00s.

    • 0 avatar

      Considering that lots of police cars spend a good deal of their time idling at zero miles per gallon while their drivers are doing traffic surveillance or drinking coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, does their fuel economy really matter? I’ve had cops tell me that they never shut off their cars if they can avoid it.

      Some municipalities might save on fuel costs switching to hybrid cop cars.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Ronnie-

        Huntington Woods is replacing their CVs with Explorers. We have 1 square mile of total area! We should have bought C-Maxes or Fusion Hybrids.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The real question is why does a dept with 1sq mile of patrol need new cars in the first place? I noticed my 6 sq mi boro started switching to the Explorer from their CVPIs. I think wow must be nice to be $2 million in the hole every year but still get those shiny new rides for all of that not-police-work they do.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Because property taxes are on average $6000/household. With 3200 homes that are all owner occupied, there is plenty of money to spend. I do live less than 3 miles from Detroit though. I suppose a visible police presence is the price we pay to keep the city nice.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            With so much money in their budget they’d be wiser to invest in something other than depreciating assets they don’t need.

        • 0 avatar

          Particularly since Huntington Woods cops spend much of their time parked in the left turn lane in the middle of Coolidge hoping that people won’t see the No Turn On Red sign on Ten Mile. I’m sure that every property owner in HW with an unsolved burglary appreciates such diligent traffic enforcement. Solving burglaries doesn’t generate revenue.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            +2 to each of your comments above, Ronnie.

            But hey, at least property taxes are low! D’oh!!

            We have friends who live there paying 12k a year in property taxes on a 2,100 square foot homes built in the 1950s (they did do an addition).

            It’s insanity.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “Some municipalities might save on fuel costs switching to hybrid cop cars.”

        Alternatively, they could ask their cops to wear sweaters.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Good point on the hybrids. It matters because police behavior has not changed but the fuel economy certainly has vs Panther and W-body. Those cars were subject to the same abuses and returned better economy. We’ll start to feel the economics of this poor planning when our local gov’t start increasing active and passive taxation to make up for the shortfall. Plus um global warming, polar bears, national security, terrorists winning, etc.

        Disclosure: I have no knowledge of the Charger in police use so perhaps its a more economical squad car.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Charger isn’t particularly economical.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Heard any figures?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’ve heard the same as the boosted Taurus on the freeway, and worse on a typical patrol. The city that I typically work in gets the best MPG from their Mustang, then Challenger.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            From my friend that buys the vehicles for a local city the Charger had the highest overall cost vs the Crown Vic or Tahoe and since the Crown Vic went away he started purchasing Tahoes. I haven’t talked to him about it since they started getting Utility Interceptors and the last I saw he hasn’t purchased any PPVs or Sedan Interceptors yet.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the info, guys.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @ 28 cars…agreed!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thx Mikey. I’m all for better protection for LEOs in chases and whatnot but the mfgs dropped the ball here on fuel ecomomy.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            According to information I was told first hand from a regional Chrysler-Dodge-RAM rep, expect to see a lot more Dodge Chargers in Michigan Police fleets.

            Apparently, the Pentastar is holding up well, Dodge is adding a lot of heavy duty features to the cooling system, suspension, and brakes of their police package Chargers, and they are also getting extremely aggressive on pricing.

            FWIW, I’ve seen more police Chargers than any other make/model of police car in the metro Detroit area as of late.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            MSP and Oakland County have a ton of Chargers. The municipalities around me have more Explorers and Taurus police interceptors.

      • 0 avatar
        mshenzi

        Or maybe just some start/stop tech?

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        I wonder how much money would be saved if law enforcement vehicles were equipped with start-stop technology. Maybe they wouldn’t have to issue so many moving violations.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Agencies concerned about fuel economy don’t have to order the EcoBoost. The 3.7 is available in both Taurus and Explorer and should return better performance and mileage than a CVPI.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        AFAIK, fulltime AWD is standard (or at least frequently ordered) on the police model. This might be the source of the problem.

        More data would be needed to confirm or deny which is more fuel efficient, based on the limited information I have from LEOs both Explorer and Taurus are gas hogs in police use vs CVPI.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          AWD is standard with the Ecoboost 3.5 and not available on the non-Ecoboost.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Check on that as I believe the police package Taurus my brother drivers is not an Ecoboost and I know for fact it is AWD (although I’m prepared to be wrong on the EB).

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            I can verify that AWD is available on non-boosted Taurus’.

            Even the AWD Explorer PI provides significantly better mileage than the CVPI, especially at idle. I can’t speak for the boosted motor, but the others do quite well.

            I agree that start/stop might be a consideration. The electrical storage capacity would have to be boosted and monitored. While not as bad as before, all the equipment in the squad has a quite a drain.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Sitting higher up means you can see people texting easier!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I don’t know where you got this picture, but I live in a small town and we just got two new police cruisers and these are them, same Fords, same color, same exact lettering. I guess we picked them right out of the Cool Police Stuff catalog

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’m seeing more and more Tahoe’s being used by the RCMP. I live a long way from any large metropolitan centre so those observations may be regional. I have yet to see one of these with a horseman on c-pillar.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      When the Crown Vic was no longer available the WA state patrol started purchasing Tahoes. They did buy a batch of Chargers but only one as the Tahoe had a lower overall cost of ownership, lower down time and more room for gear. They have picked up a number of the Caprice PPVs recently, along with some Ford Sedan and Utility Interceptors.

    • 0 avatar
      SeriousInternetBusiness

      RCMP are using the UI’s in my area as unmarked cars, and the new cruisers are Taurus’

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    Overall the Tahoe is the best pick, due to the amount of stop and go and idling they all get about the same mpg, given the sturdy nature of a bof vehicle I would imagine you could get a year or two more out of the Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Michigan State Police officers I know like the Explorer better. It also shares underpinnings with another common police car, which may make it cheaper to run.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I’m just guessing here, but I would think the Explorer’s driving dynamics, handling agility and just general maneuverability would be better then the BOF Tahoe. This might be more important to the police over longevity

  • avatar
    ajla

    I wish more police forces would opt for the Caprice so I could cheaply buy one in five years.

  • avatar

    As soon as a police car turns its lights on, I PULL RIGHT OVER.

    Get pulled over a lot in my Jeep due to the tints.

    Fortunately for them I’m not interested in evading because neither one of these pathetic econoboxes is gonna see anything other than tail lights…

    …and I just got a new CAM installed…
    Arrington Comp VVT

  • avatar
    mikey

    Durham Region…Just east of Toronto. I see a lot of marked, and unmarked Tahoe’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Mikey,

      Metro Toronto is switching over to the Fords. Peel is a Charger region (Chrysler, duh). Have seen some OPP Taurus PIs and the odd Explorer.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        I really thought with GM Oshawa still building the old Impala, that we would have a Police package available. Maybe GM is not making such a thing. I guess the old Impalas are all rentals?

        • 0 avatar
          twinsonic

          mikey,

          The 2014 Impala 9C1 will be the last year made – The full name is the Chevrolet Impala Classic 9C1.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @twinsonic I’ve been out of the loop for too long.
            Thanks for the info

          • 0 avatar
            twinsonic

            mikey,

            Late information: GM has announced to extend the production of the Chevrolet Impala Limited(!?!?!?!) (was Classic) 9C1 thru 2016 and with a CNG option……Hope this helps…..

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      Here in London, Ontario the local coppers have switched to Chargers and a few UIs for canine/support services duty. All of this talk about the cost/fuel economy of these new cruisers seems to be much ado about nothing. For my local PD, fuel (propane, unleaded, and diesel) accounts for just 0.8% of the total budget, and all vehicle expenditures account for just 3.2% of the total. 95% of the cost of policing here, like most places in Canada is related to wages and benefits.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Seattle Police are still mostly in Crown Vics. They stockpiled some Crown Vics before the end of production and haven’t made their final purchasing decision yet. They’ve tried out all of the potential replacements in actual service; I’ve heard the officers like the Explorer best.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I see a lot of Police Explorers in my neck of the woods.

    Part of it, I would bet is ride height. If you have to get in and out of a vehicle frequently and in a hurry the SUV is going to be much easier than the low slung sedan. The Crown Vic rode a bit higher than the Taurus (by the looks of it).

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m with “28 cars later” here. My property taxes are staggering, and were driving Tahoe’s” ? The Tahoe as doing a job that a 2.5 Malibu, could do easy, in the urban world.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m surprised the Canadian authorities haven’t picked up on this (at least in Ontario). I could see other parts of Canada requiring the use of a Tahoe or similar pickup due to climate.

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      The Tahoe is body on frame with heavy-duty upgrades that makes it last a hell of lot longer than a 2.5 Malibu. The State bid for the Tahoe is a lot lower than its sticker price and it is more expensive than the Charger AHB, Caprice 9C1, Impala 9C1, and Taurus PPV, but the Tahoe can last a few years longer or more, get a higher trade-in or auction return for the money compared to the other squads. With the truck chassis, its durability and repairs is easier and accidents – its cheaper to repair the Tahoe compared to the others. The 2.5 Malibu would fall apart in very short order compared to the Tahoe. Here is a story that brings it home: The Baltimore Police back in 1992 bought 170 civilian Ford Taurus for patrol use – via from the dealer. From the first day, the lighter frames could not take the pounding from an inner-city patrol. The pursuit radials needed replacement after just 3,000 miles. Worst of all, front end accidents, which are what police tend to have, almost always ended up damaged the transaxle. On a rear drive vehicle, the same impact would damage the front sheet metal and radiator. These front end collisions ended up bending the Taurus’ unibody frame, which was difficult to straighten. The purchase of the Taurus’ account 43 percent of the Baltimore Police fleet, but 63 percent of the downtime, compared to other towns and cities approximately 10 to 20 percent. This story contributed to the demise of the Police Taurus after 1995. You can use the Malibu for detective, investigator, and administration use. Definitely NOT for 24/7 patrol use…..

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thank you for sharing. Based on your figures I’m not seeing a logical reason for Taurus, Explorer, and W-Impala to exist in police use.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m curious 28, and sorry if you have already said what you think elsewhere in this thread and I missed it, but what car do you think would be worthy of police work?

          BTW, for me, anything that can run and handle is good enough.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Good question. I’m thinking there is no one good “police” car left as all of the choices have their drawbacks. The SUVs are obvious gas guzzlers and are expensive for what they offer. Yet the AWD police cars marketed by Ford also guzzle gas (building a platform where AWD could be turned off outside of pursuit would have made so much more sense). The W-Impala is more fuel efficient but suffers from the maladies of FWD in police use, and it also lacks a proper roll cage and other more modern safety features. I know little about Charger and on paper it seems to work. Yet per patrol car it seems to have a higher cost (and I’ve heard that before). Caprice PPV is probably the closest to the Panther that’s out there (although lacking BOF) and I have even less information on it (mileage figures would interest me). In addition its more of an exotic and parts will probably be difficult/expensive in the future. Probably the best police vehicle outside of something purpose built like what Carbon Motor’s attempted would have been a modern Panther. Although the more I pontificate, a purpose build police/fire/ems car makes more and more sense, I’m surprised someone has not moved into this arena.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Back before the recent additions the Charger had the lowest purchase price of any police car, however everything else about it is more expensive so much more expensive that it more than wiped out the purchase price savings.

      • 0 avatar
        luvmyv8

        @twinsonic

        I thought those Taurus that were the bane of Baltimore were the legitimate police package ones.

        Either way, the Taurus has a very checkered history as a police car. Then again Chevrolet did try to pawn off a Lumina 9C1….. the horror.

        • 0 avatar
          twinsonic

          Agreed – the Lumina 9C1 with the 3.1 was a piss poor squad – would have fallen apart just as much as the Taurus P71. The W-body squad, Impala is built to take much more abuse than the Lumina. For example the engine cradle in the Impala is steel on the 9C1, aluminum in the civilian version.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            I just saw a ’96 Lumina with 9C1 package for sale yesterday. Police wheel covers, supposedly has 47K on it. Hmmmm!

  • avatar
    IndianaDriver

    This SUV is selling so well, Ford should nickname it the EXPLODER for the skyrocketing sales.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    In my neck of the Arkansas woods, it’s all Chargers and Tahoes. I’ve maybe seen 2 Tauruses and no Explorers that I can recall. The local Chevy dealer seems to be getting dozens of police package Tahoes at a time. Still quite a few Crown Vics running around in the local PD’s.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Funny you guys are reporting that these police vehicles are getting 10-11 mpg. My fire department uses Chevy Express 4500 van chassis for our ambulances, and I’ve checked the trip computers on several, and all have reported 10-11 mpg averages. While perhaps not as much as a police car, our ambulances do spend great quantities of time idling…we rarely shut them off if we’re not in quarters. Interesting that they’re getting the same mpg despite their 14,000 lb GVWR and blocky aerodynamics.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Explorer must be well suited for license plate readers. Enough room in the front for the gear, and enough height to get a clear view.

  • avatar
    jc130

    I always thought the Durango would make a good cop car but I guess it’s to narrow as well. I know they made them but I have never seen one in my neck.

    I am more into cop bikes than cop cars though. Well, anything but a cop Harley, that is. R1200RTs, old KZs, beautiful old CHP Eldos and new Norges (in Europe anyway), even the Honda STs.

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    LAPD seems to be going the Charger route so far and from the sound of them I would say it was the V6 model. I presume there will be a mix thrown in, CHP has already committed to the Explorer.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Am I the only one around here who thinks our police should be in Corollas or Focus or maybe a Malibu or Fusion? Maybe hybrid or diesel (since I have now learned that most cop cars apparently sit around idling all day)

    Why on earth do we buy them these huge expensive vehicles that use a ton of fuel? Maybe someone can show me the financial analysis that proves an Explorer or Tahoe makes the most sense… But I somehow suspect the real reason is because the police department simply wants these cars, cost to the citizens be damned.

    Seems a lot of the rest of the world gets by with small and cheap police vehicles. Any reason we can’t do the same?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      A lot of the world does a crap job policing compared to America, in Germany you never see the cops unless they get called on you. They spend more time in the station than on the road.

      American cops do a much more thorough job, and stay on the road. Our cops shouldn’t have to be cramped in Fusion or Malibu S##tboxes, not even going to respond to the other two. Police need what best suites them, and little deathboxes don’t tend to fit that need. Not to mention a Tahoe or the like will outlast anything you suggested by a large margin.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Our cops shouldn’t have to be cramped in Fusion or Malibu S##tboxes, not even going to respond to the other two. Police need what best suites them, and little deathboxes don’t tend to fit that need.”

        I’m not disagreeing with you but it strikes me as what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. I realize police vehicle needs are far greater than the avg person, but if these models aren’t good enough for “police”, they are they good enough for the rest of us?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Consumers purchase them, and consumers in the end dictate where the design money goes.
          Putting police in something that cannot handle pit moves with minimal damage and keep rolling, or cannot handle constantly being flogged to death, or otherwise doesn’t seem right. Yea we can go overboard, a 10 year old cop car should be justifiable for anyone new to the force, but I don’t want to see our guys in something small with 600lbs of gear, flip over and be forced into an extremely small cavity in close quarters to laptops, radios, and whatever else they may have.

          Speaking of that 600lbs of equipment, that’s extra wear, something not expected of every vehicle made for consumers.

          We have much more road and much easier chances to get away, if the cops were in Malibu’s going down 95 and pass someone going 100 on the otherside they had better hope that they have someone they could call several miles back.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            More evidence consumer spec’d vehicles should not be purchased for emergency vehicle use. Another thought is consumer vehicles should be better designed or “beefier” from the get-go. Not as if cars are cheap to buy anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            twinsonic

            Hummer – the perfect example was NYPD – they used a Plymouth Reliant K-cars for uniformed patrol in the early 80s. While perfect for urban use, it did not fare well against heavier cars when involved in crashes. NYPD quickly switched over to 3,700lbs M-body car Plymouth Gran Fury/Dodge Diplomat then 3900 lbs Chevrolet Caprice when the M-body cars were cancelled after 1989. LAPD and LASD also had the same reasoning to go from compact to midsize and eventually going to full size in the 1970′s 80′s and the 90′s

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Depends on the duty. Inner city police could ride share with meter maids as far as I’m concerned. Highway patrol could use the real iron.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      We load them down with gear. Vest, pistol, pepper spray, baton, taser, radio, handcuffs, keys, donuts, pens, notebooks, cool sunglasses, jackets, hats, ticket books, reports of all kinds, flashlights,rifles, shotguns, computers, license plate readers, picks, rams, sometimes blankets and medical supplies, etc…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I wasn’t aware doughnuts were standard issue. Mmmmmmmmm doughnuts…

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          I really didn’t expect I would slip that one past you 28 ;)

          Mmmmm…honey glazed safety equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My favorite scene:

            “That’s a good-a doughnut”

            https://www.google.com/search?q=home+simpsons+godfather&client=firefox-a&hs=RGE&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hBIzU5qCOseSyQHTkYGwBw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=646#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=Mt8rxa5d_iFIZM%253A%3B6dGFhqkve5O_6M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fcomm2302.files.wordpress.com%252F2011%252F12%252Fdon_homer_1217347452.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fcomm2302.wordpress.com%252Fpage%252F6%252F%3B455%3B349

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      You can “patrol” with the Ford Focus or the Toyota Corolla, but if the brakes fades faster than a college radio station and takes out a minivan loaded with family members, can you as a mayor sign off on the damages for their estate? Or the Corolla falls apart during a high speed run to a code 3 call for a break-in? When you get a civilian car and use it a patrol class unit, the liability is huge. LAPD’s Ray Wynne the father of the modern police car and police car testing has these sage words back in the 1950′s and 60′s: “Any police officer familiar with pursuit driving is well aware that a violator evading apprehension very seldom flees in a straight line. He usually attempts to cut corners and lose the police vehicle by a series of maneuvers which involve changing direction frequently. For this reason, not only handling and steering but brakes of the police car must be vastly superior to those on the standard passenger vehicle. A policeman driving a PROPERLY ENGINEERED POLICE CAR should have every reason to expect that as soon as a violator begins to turn corners and brake during evasive tactics, handing and braking superiority of the police car will end the chase in a minimum of time.” In designing a police package here is fast and hard rules.
      1. There are more times when police officers wish they were race drivers than there are times when race drivers wish they were police officers.
      2. The best pursuit or chase is the one that never happens, and the next best is the shortest one possible.
      3. An average driver in a proper engineered police car should be able to outdrive a better-than-average driver in a standard passenger car.
      4. It is bad for officer morale if a vehicle does not have sufficient performance to quickly overtake and apprehend suspects and violators. (See California Highway Patrol (CHP) 1980 Dodge St Regis)
      5 Underpowered vehicles cause drivers to overdrive the vehicle in emergency situations wherein it becomes dangerous to operate.
      Wynne felt that a police officer assigned to patrol duties in a marked patrol car should be considered hazardous duty. Statistics show that a police officer is more likely to be injured or killed on duty in a traffic-related incident, than by other means such as assaults, or armed encounters. In fact, to figure out that it is far more cost effective to place the police officer in a vehicle that is rugged, reliable, and safe, than to pension off a young officer on disability due to inferior equipment- a cost estimated at $150,000 in 1960′s dollars to 2014- $1,189,000 dollars.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        That sounds reasonable, but doesn’t sound much like the hoopty crapbucket Crown Vics I am familiar with over the years. They are good because they are big, versatile, relatively cheap, durable, easy to repair, easy to get in and out of, pretty safe and basically do a lot of things well enough. Everyone from the captain to detectives to patrol officers can have the same car, outfitted differently. Pursuit vehicles? Mmmmm…not so much.

        • 0 avatar
          twinsonic

          G. Ray Wynne would list the Ford Crown Victoria P71 as a Patrol class car – The Dodge Charger AHB with the 5.7 Hemi would best listed as a Pursuit class car. You just described a perfect Patrol class unit…..

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Well, are you supposed to switch cars when the pursuit starts? I think all the new generation sedans are very capable pursuit and patrol cars, as they should be. The Crown Vic was just a bit of a sled.

  • avatar
    matador

    I don’t think the big issue is the cost of the car, but who’s buying them. We have two small towns near us, both with about 900 people, and both are speed traps.

    Town one is in financial trouble. They insist on newer vehicles. They have two police cars- both 2012 Chargers that replaced 2007 CVPI’s.

    The other town has two cars- a 2002 Dodge Intrepid and a 2004 CVPI. They do just as fine of a job as the Town 1, but are not hurting financially. Both of these cars were purchased used by the town.

    A fast, powerful car like a Charger is necessary on our Intersates. In these two towns, the highest speeding ticket I’ve noticed was about 75MPH. My $700 LeSabre will do that speed. I would noever recommend a police force buy something like that, but a $30,000 new cruiser is equally crazy. Leave the nice, new cars to WYDOT, and purchase them surplus. Run them for a few years, and repeat. It’s worked very well for Town #2.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    I can see why cops think that there isn’t enough room in a traditional cop car.

    It’s because Officer Dunkin needs to go on a diet.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    That’s kind of a cheap shot. There may be a few donut addicts on patrol but most cops I see are in good shape. To paraphrase Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” it’s the equipment that’s gotten bigger.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    So Ford is chest thumping about LOSING 30% of the police vehicle market.

    What a pathetic company.

    And the fuel mileage of these awful vehicles is no better–in the real world–than the Crown Vic.

    Ford massively failed with these two mediocre appliances.

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      Ford has announced of a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder EcoBoost motor for the Police Interceptor Sedan. This would work in Manhattan NY or Chicago IL. Here is the ratings: 240 Horsepower, 270 lbs. of torque. Information gathered commented that the EcoBoost 4 cylinder surprised and impressed the drivers that was testing it on the Ford Proving Grounds against the Crown Victoria P71 and bested in every way. EPA gas mileage: 30 Highway, 20 City, 24 combined.


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