2016 Law Enforcement Vehicles

March 2016, Government Fleet - WebXclusive

by Melanie Basich

Photo of Police Interceptor Utility courtesy of Ford.
Photo of Police Interceptor Utility courtesy of Ford.

Law enforcement agencies have many choices when it comes to vehicles designed to propel officers from call to call. Depending on your daily duties and where you perform them, you might need something out of the ordinary to do your job effectively. Thankfully, most companies are more than happy to customize vehicles to an agency's or special unit's specifications. Here's a look at a range of modes of transportation available to you for traversing land, water, and air on duty.

Patrol Vehicles

Here's a look at 2016 cars and utility vehicles for patrol and other details.

Chevrolet

Chevy's law enforcement lineup for 2016 includes the newly redesigned Tahoe SUV, now available as an automatic four-wheel-drive PPV; the Caprice; the efficient front-wheel-drive Impala; and the Silverado Special Service WT and LS.

Technology features found in the 2016 models include Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, standard on Tahoe PPV and Caprice PPV and available on Silverado; an auxiliary battery on Tahoe PPV; and a rear vision camera, standard on Tahoe PPV, Silverado SSV, and available on Caprice PPV.

Chevrolet has been making a police pursuit-rated version of the Tahoe for more than a decade. And it is the only full-size SUV to be certified as a police pursuit-rated vehicle. It's also Chevy's best-selling law enforcement vehicle. The Tahoe PPV's 5.3L V-8 Flex Fuel engine with direct injection and active fuel management generates 355 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque. Also available are the 2WD PPV and 4x4 Special Service Vehicle (SSV) models.

Photo of 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe courtesy of GM.
Photo of 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe courtesy of GM.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' lineup of law enforcement vehicles includes the Dodge Charger Pursuit, Ram Special Service, and Dodge Durango Special Service. Each features the company's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system and advanced multistage air bags.

New for 2016, the Charger Pursuit is available with a 12.1-inch in-dash touchscreen, freeing up interior room by eliminating the center tray and relocating the laptop into the trunk. Other features include the available AWD as well as rear-wheel-drive engineering, choice of two powerplants and high-strength steel Unibody, and high-performance brakes.

The Charger Pursuit V-8 and V-8 all-wheel-drive (AWD) models deliver 370 horsepower, and the Charger can get up to an EPA estimated 26 miles per gallon (mpg) highway with the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 292 horsepower, 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and available E-85 flex-fuel capability.

Photo of Dodge Charger Pursuit courtesy of FCA.
Photo of Dodge Charger Pursuit courtesy of FCA.

Ford

Ford's 2016 model year law enforcement offerings include the Police Interceptor Sedan, Police Interceptor Utility, and Expedition Special Service Vehicle.

Just as it was in the patrol sedan market for many years, Ford is the undisputed sales champion in the pursuit-rated SUV market. In fact, the company's midsize Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which is based on the Ford Explorer SUV, is the best-selling vehicle in American law enforcement.

Ford introduced an updated Police Interceptor Utility for the 2016 model year with a more rugged, truck-like look and new features including a new front and rear design, new headlamps, a new instrument panel, and an enhanced electrical system to distribute electrical loads more efficiently. Ford also added a standard rear-view camera and a lift-gate release switch that's accessible to occupants in the front that allows the rear lift-gate to remain unlocked for 45 seconds to allow officers to access the cargo area.

The base model of the Police Interceptor Utility is powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that generates 304 horsepower and 279 foot-pounds of torque. Buyers can also opt for a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that produces 365 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque.

Motorcycles

Motor officers rely on their duty bikes for high maneuverability. Here's a look at 2016 models for law enforcement.

BMW Motorrad USA's police motorcycle models include the BMW G 650 GS-P offered in three suspension versions; F 800 GT-P, designed to provide sport-bike handling and performance; and the new 2016 R 1200 RT-P. The R 1200 RT-P has a new boxer air/water-cooled engine producing 125 bhp and 92 lb/ft of torque, wet clutch, e-gas electronic throttle control, and integrated lighting system.

Designed as an alternative to a motorcycle, BRP's three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder F3-P features a cruising riding position, a lower center of gravity, and a distinctive Y-frame. Officers can customize their bike's fit with the UFIT system of adjustable foot peg positions and alternative handlebars.

Harley-Davidson offers three 2016 police models: Electra Glide, Road King, and XL 883L. Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS come standard on all 2016 Police Road King and Electra Glide motorcycle models, which feature brighter lighting at 1,570 and 915 lumens, respectively. The XL 883L features a redesigned seat for increased comfort, new front suspension, and adjustable rear shocks.

Victory Police Motorcycles offers four models: Victory Commander 1, Victory Commander II, Stealth Commander 1, and Victory Vision. All are delivered fully equipped. The Victory Vision features an electronically adjustable windshield, heated seat and grips, and lower air deflectors for officers that cover large areas.

Zero Motorcycles are electric vehicles available in three police models: FXP for going off road at parks and beaches, DSP versatile dual sport model for on- and off-road use, and SP for city and suburban use. The 100% electric powertrain is nearly silent and exhaust free. All 2016 police models benefit from the more efficient Z-Force IPM motor and Z-Force power packs, which allow for extended range.

Aircraft

Aerial views from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters aid in search and rescue, surveillance, and speed enforcement. These airborne vehicles can also of course transport officers and even prisoners.

AgustaWestland's AW139 was developed to exceed the rigorous standards of federal, state, and local airborne law enforcement authorities. The AW139 law enforcement helicopter achieves this by utilizing efficient, proven, and advanced technologies and design criteria to achieve a very cost-effective helicopter. The integrated avionic system provides the basis for managing the sensors and comprehensive communications suite required for the law enforcement role.

The Beechcraft G58 Baron ISR provides the combination of a state-of-the-art surveillance camera and data link with multi-engine safety and 4- to 6-hour mission persistence. The Beechcraft Baron is certified for flight into known icing and comes standard with a full avionics package for IFR flight including radar.

The Delaware State Police aviation section operate the first Bell 429 configured for helicopter emergency services, search and rescue, and airborne law enforcement. The aircraft are used throughout the state for a variety of parapublic missions with a strong focus on EMS. The Bell 429 is distinctive in that it is a light twin-engine helicopter with true two-litter capability, featuring enough cabin space for two medical attendants and two crewmembers. The Bell 429 also features a fully integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system, WAAS navigation, and IFR capability.

Robinson Helicopter Company produces two helicopters for law enforcement: R44 Raven II Police Helicopter and the R66 Turbine Police Helicopter. Both arrive with specialized equipment including infrared imaging system, searchlight, monitor, and dual audio controller for police radios, already installed and FAA-approved. While retaining many of the features of the R44 Police Helicopter including a two-bladed rotor system and open cabin configuration, the R66 Turbine Police Helicopter provides additional seating and cargo capacity, increased reserved power, and improved altitude performance.

DUI Vehicles

While patrol officers are always on the lookout for unsafe drivers, DUI task forces, saturation patrols, and DUI checkpoints are more focused ways of getting inebriated drivers off the road. For these operations, vehicles specially equipped with everything needed to test for intoxication as well as process and even hold offenders can be immensely helpful.

Comlabs' vehicle division recently delivered a B.A.T. (Blood Alcohol Testing) vehicle to the Providence (RI) Police Department. Built on a Freightliner chassis, this unit features two jail cells, workstations, breathalyzers, fingerprinting, VoIP phones, a cellular modem, and video monitoring. Comlabs also builds a variety of other custom trucks and trailers. All vehicle production is done in-house and all systems are integrated onsite.

Farber Specialty Vehicles custom builds mobile units to the exact specifications of its customers in a broad range of styles featuring the latest and most advanced technologies for DUI and blood alcohol testing (BAT) vehicles, in addition to vehicles for other specialized units. Customers have the option of providing the operating systems, or Farber Specialty will provide a "turn-key" vehicle, fully operational upon delivery of the vehicle.

Sirchie's series of Mobile DUI Enforcement Vehicles allow for easy deployment and setup of sobriety checkpoints. Equipped with a holding cell of the same molded fiberglass construction as the company's prisoner transport vehicles, these vehicles can securely and safely house detainees while testing of other suspects is ongoing. The DUI100M is effective as both a deterrent and an enforcement tool. Also available are the company's Breath Alcohol Testing Vehicle and Freightliner-Based DUI Enforcement Vehicle.

Boats

Any jurisdiction situated in and around waterways can benefit from a vessel customized for law enforcement. They come in handy for everything from monitoring recreational boating and fishing to conducting search and rescue missions.

FSI North America offers a complete range of pneumatic white water, transom, and center console transom rescue boats with thick 1.2mm fabric. FSI boats are designed to turn and corner aggressively and get up on plane immediately. FSI offers multiple towing 'O' and 'D' rings and rescue ropes—all intended to aid in police and rescue operations.

Intrepid builds custom boats for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as Homeland Security and Border Patrol. The company's model line includes boats between 24 and 47 feet long. Options include dive doors, custom gun mounts, bow ladders, and folding tops for access under low bridges.

RIBCraft manufactures professional-grade rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) for law enforcement and military agencies starting at 15 feet in length. These rescue boats featuring heavy-duty inflatable tubes are used for search and rescue and maritime interdiction, among other uses.

Silver Ships Inc. manufactures custom aluminum boats ranging in size from 21 to 65 feet long for the military, municipalities, and commercial users. Its Freedom Series vessels come in lengths of 21, 25, and 36 feet and are constructed of all-welded marine grade aluminum, featuring an ergonomically designed platform for single-officer operation.

Willard Marine develops watercraft for the military, Department of Homeland Security, and law enforcement agencies. It is also the exclusive builder of vessels originally designed by SeaArk Marine and Crystaliner. Willard’s more contemporary 33-foot Crystaliner design includes new electronic systems and upgraded hull construction.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the February issue of Police Magazine.

COMMENTS

  1. 1. FRAN HURST [ March 23, 2016 @ 04:24PM ]

    Ford you never should have stopped building the CROWN VIC with its steel frame ,v8 engine and rear wheel drive for protection the safety of its operator.

  2. 2. John U [ March 23, 2016 @ 10:17PM ]

    Right Fran the new Police Interceptors do not have the durability that that the Crown Vic had. Also a lot of repair problems with the AWD system as well.

  3. 3. FirstSgt Highway [ March 24, 2016 @ 11:04PM ]

    I'm aware of several mid size to bigger size departments that offer to assign their patrol officers a choice between 2 patrol sedans. Each department purchases 50% of "make & model 1" and 50% of "make & model 2",then based on availability of the cars and seniority of the officers requesting a specific make and model officers, usually are assigned the patrol car of their choice.
    What I've said is true, but a rare practice that only well funded departments can afford to do...and the car must be on their list of three, so right now (March,2016) the list of 3 will include 2 or the following 3; a Chevy Caprice PPV, a Dodge Charger or Ford Taurus (aka: Police Interceptor). Must be nice to pick the make/model of your office on wheels for 8, 10 or 12 hour shifts. What's interesting about the few places that do this is that NONE are among the list of agencies that bought extra Crown Vics and stockpiled them until they were needed. Although many officers liked the CV it made little sense to store and maintain a PPV just because they were Crown Vics. How soon we forget ! When the big 3 automakers were still producing police packages the Crown Vic was an "average" police car, it was a big, RWD, V-8 sedan with a roomy cabin and what we REALLY liked was that roomy cabin ! Room was the number 1 reason we liked that patrol car. After all it wasn't the fastest, nope Dodge built the "road rockets", few disputed that (documented) fact, Dodge built the fastest for 2 or 3 decades and they handled well, remained stable when cornering (within reason); really the Crown Vic (or LTD) wasn't the roomiest either...Chevy had the Bel Air that had a giant cabin and scooted along with a 454 c.i. V-8 under the hood.
    Room...that kept the Crown Vic around for a long time, it wasn't speed, the CV was, well, average in the performance department...120MPH maybe 125MPH tops, anyone claiming faster was telling a good "fish story" or had a faulty speedometer. It had a light rear end also, seemingly lighter each year...and don't forget the fuel tanks that exploded when hit from the rear, they claimed 11 police officers lives. Yes the Crown Vic held up OK, ran fair and we have fond memories of it.
    They always say "what goes around comes around." , that seems to be true, police sedans have advanced in many ways in the past decade or so, technology, speed, handling, safety, braking and electronics have improved so much, so fast it's hard to keep up. With the demise of the Crown Vic we're entering a new age in police sedans; remember that 120MPH top speed? It's nothing now, 130 or 145MPH+ is the new normal top end. Mopar/Dodge has a new 12" rectangular computer screen that's flush with the dashboard now, so 2 adults can ride up front in comfort again, it's all new, all well built again and all amazing. Wait until you see the 2016's ! The players are the same, we're going full circle, headed into a new age...Dodge has the roomiest cabin, fastest and well built Charger's ever that are sure to give Ford a real run for their money, and Chevy has new ideas for police sedans, soon to be released. Right now my money is on Dodge, but the entire industry shows signs of an exciting future. So it's goodbye Crown Vic, it was fun...now new and exciting things are on the horizon...

  4. 4. Nicpolsta [ March 28, 2016 @ 01:26PM ]

    I just wish we could have this choice in Australia. Please bring the purpose built vehicles here. The Chevy Tahoe looks like it would meet the needs of many law enforcement agencies here. Anyway lets go back to dreaming of a vehicle that is fit for purpose and converting family sedans into police cars.

  5. 5. Brian Reynolds [ April 07, 2016 @ 02:42PM ]

    Ford HAD to stop building the CV because it was not going to pass the new safety standards for rollover and occupant safety. They managed to extend the life of the car for two additional years but it was old technology and was long past it's useful model life expectancy.

    Todays choices are far safer, more comfortable, and generally speaking just as reliable as the CV ever was. The Dodge units have issues that are well documented with the front ends, but they are also easily fixed with some aftermarket parts. Camshafts will go at about 100k so be prepared, but otherwise they are a decent sedan. Tahoe is a the roomiest and easiest to use in almost any environment, but also costs the most. If you need space, this is your answer. Second place in the space category is the Ford PI Utility, which can be given bonus points for standard AWD. With a lot more room than its sedan partner, the two offer a nice choice for Ford fans. Most of the transfer case problems were early in the models development and they seem to be much better than they used to be.

    Bottom line is the Ford Crown Vic is gone. It's time to stop crying over it like it is the old girlfriend you still miss. The new option are truly improvements in almost every way imaginable.

  6. 6. chris franz [ April 08, 2016 @ 09:59AM ]

    Hello, I work with www.westwardindustries.com. we manufacture vehicles for parking and police enforcement. I'm wondering how to be part of such published articles as the above?
    thanks

  7. 7. Richard Cromwell III [ April 13, 2016 @ 11:57AM ]

    4/13 Are there any CNG offerings? We live in a small Desert town wit excellent CNG public fueling stations - we would like to stay green. Thanks. rc3

  8. 8. Todd Duffey [ July 30, 2016 @ 01:05PM ]

    The Ford CV that I last drove before I switched to Taurus was a 2010 model and would top out at 132mph so it will go faster than 120-125. The Taurus with non-turbo goes exact same speed 132. It has a speed limiter per Ford!!

 

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