Police work isn’t isolated to cities. It happens in rural and off-road environments, too, and these environments require a different kind of vehicle. That’s why in July, Ford introduced the first pursuit-rated pickup, the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder. The Police Responder is purpose-built for law enforcement fleets, such as sheriff’s departments operating in rural environments, border patrol operations, and fish and game authorities, as well as state and local police departments.
“As the industry’s first pursuit-rated pickup, this vehicle was developed in response to customer requests,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “The F-150 Police Responder offers law enforcement agencies a more versatile and capable patrol truck with both on-road pursuit and off-road capabilities.”
Pursuit Performance Features
Designed to perform in pursuit situations, the F-150 Police Responder is powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost engine and Ford SelectShift 10-speed transmission and is rated for speeds up to 100 mph. Four-wheel drive and 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires allow it to perform in both on-road and off-road conditions, ideal for rural areas.
The F-150 Police Responder is designed for sudden stops; it comes equipped with a police-calibrated brake system with upgraded calipers and pad friction material, as well as an upgraded front-stabilizer bar for improved braking and handling. The truck offers 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque — more than any other pursuit-rated police vehicle — and also has the greatest payload capacity (2,030 lbs.) and standard towing capacity (7,000 lbs.), allowing it to haul heavy evidence.
Daren Turner, fleet operations manager, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the 65 trucks in the department’s fleet are used to patrol remote areas, and the F-150 Police Responder would be used for that same purpose, were it to be added to the fleet.
“It would be helpful having a vehicle that is purpose-built to respond to calls and situations while at the same time reducing the department’s risk and liability,” he said. “It increases the department’s capabilities and options, and places officers in a vehicle that will enable them to perform a range of responsibilities.”
Turner said the horsepower rating, towing capacity, and gross vehicle weight rating are the most attractive features of the new truck. “You really don’t lose any functionality with the EcoBoost V-6; however, you should see a net gain in fuel economy,” he said.
Hopeton Staple, fleet operations director for the County of El Paso, Texas, oversees 150 patrol vehicles and 14 police pickup trucks. The fleet’s patrol vehicles travel primarily on paved improved roads, unimproved roads, and compacted dirt. While the F-150 Police Responder is designed for these conditions, Staple said the fleet’s Ford Explorer Patrol SUV provides suitable capability for officers for the time being.
Interior Room For 5, Plus Armor
The vehicle’s interior is designed for the needs of law enforcement personnel.
“With 131.8 cubic feet of interior space, the largest interior passenger volume of any pursuit-rated police vehicle, the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder can comfortably seat five — complete with body armor and holsters — and carry the necessary police gear to get the job done,” Tyler said.
The truck provides best-in-class front and rear shoulder and hip room, as well as rear leg room.
Durability for Rugged Travel
The vehicle’s exterior is also suited for pursuits in rugged areas. It’s based on the F-150 FX4 off-road model and its 145-inch wheelbase sits on a high-strength steel frame. It features Ford’s high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy SuperCrew body.
As the latest model in Ford’s line of law enforcement vehicles, Tyler said expanding Ford’s pursuit-rated vehicle lineup offers law enforcement fleets more options and more capability to meet their agencies’ specific needs.
Ford F-150 Police Responder Specs
Specially Designed Interior:
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the F-150 Police Responder's engine produces 375 horsepower.