By on January 28, 2019

Ever since Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, it’s become much harder to watch out for cops. Initially, you just had to keep tabs on any Dodge Charger in dark paint, but that quickly evolved into drivers becoming suspicious of every monochrome Explorer, Taurus, Durango, Tahoe, or Fusion Hybrid on the road as law enforcement began adopting the models for official use.

A police department in Fremont, California has added a Tesla that list, garnering tons of media attention in the process. However, after looking into the story, it seems Fremont is only testing a single, second-hand Tesla Model S 85D it purchased a year ago to see if the model is fit for service. Considering this is the same city where Tesla manufactures the vehicle, one would think the Fremont Police could have worked out some kind of deal with the factory. However, what interests us — and probably the department — most is figuring whether or not the 2014 Model S can actually hack it beneath the thin blue line.  (Read More…)

By on January 4, 2019

Image: Ford

After rocking the same design with only minor alterations since 2011, Ford will soon debut an all-new Explorer. Arriving this year as a 2020 model, the model adopts the modular CD6 platform shared with Lincoln’s Aviator, making the new version of the venerable SUV rear-drive biased once again. New powerplants are also on the way.

Before we lay eyes on the new ute, however, Ford wants to show us, once again, the Explorer’s law enforcement brother: the Police Interceptor Utility, which the company first revealed under the cloak of darkness last June. We now have light. A wildly common sight on North American roads, the new version of the copped-up Explorer is all about nabbing bad guys … and saving departments money. The vehicle you see here arrives with a standard hybrid drivetrain. (Read More…)

By on August 29, 2018

Car noise hearing

One of the benefits touted by early electric car advocates was a reduction in noise pollution stemming from automobiles. Electric motors have the potential to run far quieter than their internal combustion rivals, which could result in softer-sounding roadways.

The U.S. Department of Transportation started seriously worrying about the safety implications of silent-running vehicles back in 2010. Still, it wasn’t until this year that it legally imposed artificial noises on EVs as a way to warn inattentive or impaired pedestrians. Starting in 2020, vehicles with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds must emit a pedestrian-warning noise at speeds below 18.6 miles per hour.

However, despite a lengthy dialogue between government and industry, Ford was apparently seeking an exception for the federally mandated noise maker(Read More…)

By on February 18, 2018

Daimler Police Cars Euro

Daimler will be present at this week’s General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference to showcase its new law enforcement units. While Mercedes-Benz patrol vehicles are fairly common in the fatherland, Daimler may be seeking to broaden appeal within Europe and beyond. Don’t expect a sudden rush of imported squad cars for North America, however.

The only possible exception would be the Sprinter van. The NYPD currently fields a large number of E-Series vans as “Paddy wagons” but has started replacing them with the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The city also uses Smart ForTwos as parking enforcement. Likewise, the LAPD has also expressed an interest in adopting the Sprinter as a transport vehicle but chose the BMW i3 as its small unit intended primarily for virtue signaling(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

dallas squad car hammered

Earlier this week a man wielding a sledgehammer walked into the Dallas Police Department’s motorpool and started swinging. The city’s Police Association claims the man wailed on 12 cars at the Central Division station on South Hall Street in Deep Ellum at roughly 5:20 in the morning on February 4th.

The man, 58-year-old Gregory Simpson, apparently entered the police station parking lot through an unsecured gate and started hitting the first police car in sight. By the time he was stopped, he’d caused an estimated $4,900 in damage. Had he not focused primarily on windshields, that figure probably could have come up a bit. But, as breaking glass is one of life’s simple pleasures, his focus was understandable. Why he chose to vent his frustrations on parked squad cars is not, however. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2017

police chase

Have you ever watched those police chase compilation videos and noticed that the crème de la crème always seem to take place within the United States? That’s not a coincidence. American roadways are custom built for high-speed shenanigans and culture has fetishized the concept of “the getaway.” Toss in local law enforcement agencies with vehicles fast and bulky enough to mix it up with speeding perps and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a old fashioned police chase.

That isn’t to say other countries don’t have pursuits, because they do. However, the volume isn’t always turned up to eleven and, more importantly, they typically aren’t televised. The opposite is true in the U.S. — especially in America’s car chase capital of Los Angeles, where crews are always at the ready to set out in the news chopper to get coverage.

It may be an unhealthy obsession. After all, we know the odds of the criminal getting away are infinitesimally small and are well aware of the incredible danger the public is placed in anytime a new chase kicks off. It’s one of the primary reasons we watch them: satisfying and legitimate drama is a guarantee.  (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2017

ford f-150 police responder

Ford recently began giving law enforcement agencies more options in terms of the type of automobiles they want to put into active duty. The company provided America’s preferred pursuit vehicle, the Crown Victoria, for years and has moved on to a broader fleet of sedans, SUVs, and pickups specifically equipped for police use. Earlier this year, Ford showcased the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan as part of its Greener Shade of Blue campaign — dubbing it the “first pursuit-rated hybrid police car.”

We condemned Ford for its bragging, mainly because Chevrolet already provided a hybrid police vehicle and there was no concrete evidence that the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan was actually pursuit-rated. Unfortunately, we may be forced to do that all over again with Ford’s new F-150 Police Responder pickup. It’s another new, likely welcome, entry into the automaker’s extensive law enforcement fleet that leaves us doubting the validity of the terminology used. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2017

police-responder-hybrid-sedan-6

Being first is a tricky business. As we all know, Columbus was the first to discover the Americas but we also all know that is an utter falsehood. In addition to people already living on the continent, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Viking and Chinese sailors made the trip by boat long before Spain was even considered a country. However, Columbus is the smug-looking gentleman getting most of the exploratory credit in Western textbooks.

It’s a similar story with Ford’s new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. The automaker is calling it the “first pursuit-rated hybrid police car,” but that’s a little like saying you are the best athlete in a sport you also invented.  (Read More…)

By on December 29, 2016

Ford Police Interceptor Utility

North America’s romantic entanglement with the sport utility vehicle is not limited to retail consumers, as police fleets in the United States and Canada have been getting in on the action for a while now. Valuing durability and flexibility above all else, law enforcement’s gradual shift toward SUVs seems to have been inevitable.

Ford said that sales of its Explorer-based Interceptor Utility surpassed its Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan in 2014, claiming that the SUV had “officially” become North America’s most popular police vehicle. While that might not be entirely accurate until current fleets retire the horde of large sedans that proved so popular in the past, the utility trend is growing and departments have plenty of praise for them — especially departments rife with oversized officers.  (Read More…)

By on November 3, 2016

police car

Every automotive enthusiast goes through a period in their teens where they wonder just how fast a police car would be against their entirely hypothetical sports car of choice.

Well, had they known the police were just giving this information away, they wouldn’t have needed to.

(Read More…)

By on March 11, 2016

Machine gun practice, Iraq

Sure, most (if not all) cop cars offer protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you’re looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.

The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor vehicles will now offer the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.

Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, given that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2015

2015 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility

In each of the last ten months, Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility has outsold the Taurus Police Interceptor by at least two to one.

Beginning in July 2014 (a month in which Taurus Police Interceptor sales increased 15% and Explorer Police Interceptor sales jumped 64%) and continuing through April 2015 (when Explorer PI sales rose to their third-highest monthly level in the model’s history and Taurus PI sales slid 2%), the Police Interceptor Utility’s ten-month long U.S. sales tally rang in at 19,362 units. Ford sold 8,185 Taurus Police Interceptors during the same period. (Read More…)

By on December 30, 2014

ford explorer police interceptor utilityAs the Explorer goes, so goes the Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Unfortunately for Ford, as the Taurus goes, so too goes the Police Interceptor Sedan.

Sales of civilian Explorers in the United States are up 6% through the first eleven months of 2014. Ford sold 14,949 Explorers in November, a 13% improvement. In addition to those Explorers, Ford sold 18,823 Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utilities between January and November of this year, a 47% increase compared with 2013’s first eleven months. The Police Interceptor Utility went on sale in March 2012. Its best month so far was May of this year, when 2277 were sold, a 98% jump from May 2013 and a 196% improvement compared with May 2012. (Read More…)

By on October 22, 2013

Every year the Michigan State Police conduct comparison performance tests of police package vehicles offered by the domestic automakers. The results influence millions of dollars worth of purchasing decisions by police agencies around the country and they’re also the source of bragging rights. It’s tempting to compare the way automakers tout the MSP Police Vehicle Evaluation results to the way car makers brag about times on the Nurburgring circuit, but the police car testing is undoubtedly more consistent and reliable than ‘Ring results. This year, Chrysler made a big deal about the 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD with the 370 horsepower 5.7 liter Hemi V8 posting the fastest lap time, 1:33.85, on the Grattan Raceway road course, along with the best braking performance from 60 to 0 mph, 126.5 feet. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2013
One of these is the last Crown Victoria Police Interceptor made by Ford, now owned by the Kansas Highway Patrol

One of these is the last Crown Victoria Police Interceptor made by Ford, now owned by the Kansas Highway Patrol

My brother got picked up at Parker’s, got him a ride in a new Crown Vic.
They said that he was movin’ on a federal level but they couldn’t really make it stick.
Never Gonna ChangeDrive By Truckers

At a site where Panther love reigns, it should come as no surprise to the Best & Brightest that now that Ford’s  Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, out of production since 2011, is gradually being taken out of service, law enforcement officers are wistful about the Crown Vic’s impending demise. A while back, the New York Times took a look at the last Crown Vic bought by the Washington State Patrol, assigned to Trooper Randy Elkins. “It’s kind of the end of an era. My goal is to keep it to the end, right to the last mile,” Elkins told the NYT. With about 1,000 miles put on the cruiser in a typical week and the WSP’s designated retirement mileage of 140,000, that last mile will come within three years.

(Read More…)

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