The century-long battle for market share and customer loyalty has entered a new phase as a pair of America’s auto giants angle to produce the nation’s next top cop car.
Ford dominated the patrol vehicle market for nearly 20 years with its Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, but competition shifted into overdrive when it phased out the Crown Vic in favor of a revamped 2013 Ford Police Interceptor, a sedan loosely based on the Ford Taurus.
Police agencies around the nation have already started kicking tires, signing contracts and getting the keys for their new wheels. The early results of comparison shopping has seen the Camas Police Department opting for the Ford Interceptor, but the Washington State Patrol getting the rival 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV.
But which car is better?
Nothing crushes the exhilirating experience of driving a fast car quicker than hearing that siren, then glancing up to see flashing red and blue lights steadily getting larger in your rearview mirror. It’s undoubtedly much more fun to see a police car on the sheet of paper or computer monitor in front of you, where it’s coming out of your pen or your Wacom. Those who agree will dig the theme of this year’s industry-only L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge: To envision a police car of the future.
Thousands of South Florida law enforcement officers are commuting to work at public expense and some are logging round trips of 100-plus miles daily.
More than 4,250 officers in Broward and southern Palm Beach counties drive their department-issued cars home when they go off duty, the Sun Sentinel has determined. The newspaper examined take-home car policies at 18 agencies and made some startling discoveries:
Letting cops commute in their marked units is supposed to deter crime where they live, but records show three-quarters of the officers with take-home vehicles live outside the jurisdictions they serve.
EVANSVILLE — The Evansville Police Department has used 9 percent more gas this year than at this time in 2011 under a relaxed vehicle take-home policy it adopted in January.
Police ChiefBilly Bolin said the Ford Center and a less eventful winter played parts in the fuel increase, but the new policy played a major role. The relaxed policy allows 28 officers who live outside Vanderburgh County to drive police vehicles home. It also allows those who live within the county to use their vehicles off-duty, including having family members as passengers and running errands.
The policy was relaxed to create the presence of more police vehicles on the streets, Bolin said.
“I’m a firm believer that having these cars on the street will make our city safer,”
The Michigan State Police conducted an aftermarket tire test for law enforcement fleet vehicles in June 2011.
The purpose of the tire test was to determine which tires are capable for law enforcement use. The Precision Driving Unit compared aftermarket tires to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tires outfitted on fleet vehicles when built on the assembly line.
There were three major components to the test: braking, endurance and steady-state turning.
A handful of Miami-Dade police officers are about to lose a coveted perk, setting off an angry reaction from their union president.
Beginning Jan. 1, the county police department will no longer provide take-home police cars for officers who live outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
The policy change, announced Tuesday in a memo from Police Director James K. Loftus, will affect an estimated 17 police officers, including 10 who live in Palm Beach, four in Monroe and three in Collier counties, according to the police department.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/14/2546370/miami-dade-police-ban-take-home.html#ixzz1ga8cR7SA
The Seattle Police Department is shopping for a new car after the Ford Motor Company discontinued the Crown Victoria — the model for Ford’s popular police interceptor.
The final Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line in Canada last week, CNN reports, marking the end for a big, powerful car also associated with taxis and for-hire town car services.
Auto companies already are marketing new police vehicles to replace it. The Seattle Police Department, which has used the Crown Victoria since 1995, plans to start testing new models next year, including a new police interceptor based on the Ford Taurus, a new Chevy Caprice patrol vehicle and specially designed versions of sport-utility vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Explorer.
A police officer can always remember the first time behind the wheel of his police cruiser. For Doug Hubert, it was after a tour with the U.S. Navy, in 1998. He was a new trooper and the car was a Ford Crown Victoria.
“Most people take pride that as a trooper they get to take home a car,” said Hubert, of the Virginia State Police. “It sits in front of your house, so people know that a trooper lives there.”
Hubert was driving an almost-new Crown Victoria along Interstate 81 the other day, listing the reasons he liked it: Its rear-wheel drive gives it easy handling for catching up with speeding motorists, and its roomy interior gives him space for the 300 pounds of equipment he carries.
Continue reading on Examiner.com New 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Duo Passes Pursuit Rating Test – Austin Cars | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/cars-in-austin/new-2013-ford-police-interceptor-duo-passes-pursuit-rating-test#ixzz1YetioYqZ
Long said he is not sure what his department will buy next year when it comes time to get its annual allotted 12 cars.
“We haven’t decided,” he said. “The Crown Vic was the best vehicle for police because of its size, safety and its durability. We will have to look at the other cars available to see what works for us.”