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New Police car manufacturer?


Peter Gariepy
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I am typing in a police car right now. I have read a little about it. Sounds good, but I will believe it when I see it. I suspect that it will be nearly impossible to convince government buyers to buy such a vehicle unless it is cheaper than the alternative. I also don't think it will ever be cheaper than the alternative. I expect Ford and Chevrolet will continue to lead in law enforcement vehicle production numbers.

Side note for Dave...(Even though we do have some Toyota Camry Hybrids too)

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I was informed that the Ford Crown Vic will be gone by 2010, actually the already cut off the public model and are only selling fleet Crown Vics. Our department used to only buy Chevys then the Caprice RWD was gone so we went to the Ford. Now that they are going Dodge will end up as the only RWD fleet car unless somebody comes up with something quick!

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I currently drive a 2006 Ford Police Interceptor. My 2009 unmarked Chevrolet Impala is on order since they decided a while back to mark all of the Lieutenant's White Ford Interceptors and transfer them to patrol officers to save fuel by moving us to more fuel efficient cars.

A few years ago, I was in charge of our department's fleet. If memory serves me correctly, we were told that 2006 or 2007 was supposed to be the last rear wheel drive Ford. Every year since then, they have decided to do one more year. I am not convinced that the 2010 date is any more correct than the 2007 date was. A lot of our people now drive Dodge Chargers. I don't personally care for them.

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Matthew, just wondering why police departments seem to always prefer to purchase RWD cars?

Is there something that a RWD car can do that a FWD car cannot as far as a Police Dept is concerned?

Or does it come down to the "that's what we always buy" sort of thing?

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A few of the items that I am about to list are not particularly related to RWD vs FWD, but are related to the larger cars that have always been used and happen to be RWD.

Off the top of my head (without much thought) I would think it boils down to the following reasons, and a few others that I probably do not remember, in no particular order:

More powerful drivetrain

Tried and true technology that holds up to the demanding use.

Lower maintenance cost

Larger car with more room for equipment

More significant structural integrity in high speed crashes

Some pursuit driving training would have to be modified to adapt from RWD to FWD

Larger back seat needed to be able to get prisoners in and out of the back seat

Ready availability of equipment designed for a small number of particular car models... i.e. cage, shotgun rack brackets, radio and computer mounts...

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Can you see getting on of the "Larger" suspects in cuffs into the back of some of the cars that are out there now. "Here sir, let me stick you in my Honda"...

Austin is talking about switching to mid sized cars as opposed to the larger makes and the Police Officers union is making a stink about it with good reason.

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It seems to me that we are seeing more and more SUVs showing up in police dress around here. Durangos and Tahoes mostly.

This is an urban/suburban area.

But maybe some of the younger members here should think about popping for one of the cars in the first post. Just think, in only 25 years..... smile.gif

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The Tahoe is available in a pursuit rated version. It has a lower center of gravity than the civilian model. We are using them for all of our Canine Units.

It is marketed as an alternative to Ford's Police Interceptor. As long as the Ford is available and the Tahoe is more expensive, I don't anticipate our agency using them for anything other than the Canine Units.

I almost talked them into a Hybrid Tahoe instead of the Impala, but have you priced them lately?

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Don't forget the Mobile Data Terminals.....

There's not enough room for the Fords now, and you'd never take that new car and use it as a two-officer unit. If you take a big guy and put him in a Crown Vic there isn't always a lot of room in the front or the back seat of the car. In a situation involving a multiple arrest, there is even less room.

Just from pictures I'd say that going to one of those cars would be a mistake. The NYSP tested the Dodge Chargers and quickly put those cars out to pasture. In our area the departments are either in a Crown Vic or a Tahoe. There are some departments that are in the Chevy Caprice, but anyone who I've talked to that has the Caprice for a patrol car absolutely hates the cars.

Ford has the market and if they're smart, they'll try to keep it. But 20 years ago Chrysler threw away the Dodge Diplomat / Plymouth Fury and at the time handed all of their police car business over to Ford and Chevy. They got some of the market back, but nothing close to what they threw away in the late 80's.

Everything that Matt has said is 100% accurate.

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