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Charger Police Interface Module (PIM)

Police vehicle manufacturers always try to meet the expectations and needs of the police customer, not only for customer satisfaction, but also to get a leg up on the competition. It is a big challenge to address every scenario that could be encountered by every fleet, and offer options to meet the configuration demands of every fleet.

Sometimes, however, relatively small details can be a major problem for many police fleets, leaving the door open for aftermarket suppliers to fill a niche and allow the police agency to safely fulfill its mission to protect and serve. The Charger Pursuit has such an issue, the unintended result of a fantastic new feature, amplified because it is standard on all Charger Pursuits.

In a police industry first, beginning with the 2014 model, the Charger Pursuit comes standard with a new feature called Secure Park. It is standard equipment on every Charger Pursuit. It is also the only factory-installed, anti-theft device in the police vehicle market. Secure Park protects an unoccupied Charger Pursuit from vehicle theft while idling.

With the fob in the officer’s possession, and Secure Park activated, the vehicle cannot be driven without the fob. Secure Park maintains power for police equipment (emergency lights, etc.) while eliminating the worry and possibility of vehicle removal by an unauthorized person. To date, no other manufacturer has matched the offering, either as a standard feature or an option.

An officer can activate Secure Park by simply depressing a button discretely located on the rear of the steering wheel, get out of the car, and walk away. The engine keeps running to keep the battery charged and all equipment operating. However, nobody can shift the car in gear to steal it without the key fob (Charger Pursuit has push to start, no key). The vehicle returns to normal when the officer, with the key fob in his pocket, returns to the vehicle.

The system works well to protect the vehicle from being stolen, but does nothing to secure vehicle contents. The unintended consequence that was created was that the gun rack and trunk release are not secure.

At the same time, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been getting a lot of requests for the ability to program the optional Programmable Steering Wheel Switches in a mode other than latching since not all equipment operates from what is effectively an on/off switch. Other fleets have asked for a direct–to-battery connection for the trunk release button so it will open at all times, no matter what position the ignition switch is in.


The Charger PIM

To address these requirements, InterMotive Vehicle Controls designed a solution called the Charger Police Interface Module, or Charger PIM for short. The Charger PIM provides Charger Pursuits with several desired functions, all within a single plug-and-play module. The Charger PIM provides the four.

First, two Secure Park outputs can be used to disable the gun rack and trunk release button when the Charger Pursuit is placed in Secure Park and the key fob leaves the vicinity of the vehicle. Second, the operational configuration of the trunk release button can be changed.

Third, an Auxiliary Switch Control allows the three auxiliary steering wheel buttons to be configured as either latching, momentary, radio (one at a time), or timed, and in any combination. These can be used, for example, to easily enter lights/siren ‘codes,’ or for radio push to talk, or turn on/off any equipment or load. Fourth, chime mute disables the driver door chimes for covert operations.


Reconfiguration of the Trunk Release Button

Normal operation of the trunk release button requires the ignition to be on for the trunk release to work (Hot in Run). When the vehicle is in Secure Park, the vehicle is still running so the trunk release button still works. Other agencies want the button to be active at all times (Hot at All Times), whether the vehicle is running or not, and modify the vehicle to work that way after they take delivery.

The Charger PIM provides three different options to configure the trunk release button and better secure the vehicle contents. Hot in Run, except in Secure Park: Allows the trunk release button to only work when the ignition is in RUN but is automatically disabled when the vehicle is in Secure Park. Hot at All Times: Allows the trunk release button to always operate, whether the vehicle is off, in the accessory position, or running. Hot at All Times, except in Secure Park: Operates the same as Hot at All Times, but is automatically disabled when the vehicle is in Secure Park.


Optional LED Display Panel

The Charger provides no indication when an AUX button output is active, so an optional LED panel is available to indicate which steering wheel switches are active, and if the Chime Mute is active. Chime Mute can be activated by either switching it on with a discrete switch (not provided in the kit) or by simply turning off the cluster backlighting.

The Charger PIM can also be ordered as a stand-alone module, or coupled with two other very interesting functions that, until now, have only been available to police agencies that drive Ford Interceptors. It can be coupled with Surveillance Mode, or Black Out Mode, or both!


Surveillance Mode

Surveillance Mode is useful to the officer distracted by or concentrating on something else, such as writing a report, sitting in a stakeout, or monitoring traffic. The point is, he is distracted enough to not know what is going on behind him. Surveillance Mode utilizes the vehicle’s park assist to sense movement toward the rear of the vehicle.

When activated, it will warn the officer with an audible alarm, display the activity on the vehicle’s rear camera display screen, toggle the reverse and brake lights, raise both front windows and lock all of the doors, providing the officer(s) with some degree of warning and protection.


Black Out Mode

Black Out Mode turns off all exterior lights on the vehicle, not controlled by other switches, when the vehicle is moving at a slow speed for easy movement during covert surveillance activities. This includes Reverse and Brake lights. At 15 mph, when the vehicle is moving too fast for any reasonable surveillance activity, the lights automatically come back on for safety purposes.


Plug and Play Installation

With the Charger PIM, there are no wires to cut for the installation. None. It plugs into the OBDII port with a T-harness so a new port is provided and uses the vehicle’s CAN bus to issue all commands. Simply install the activation switch (or use one of the buttons on the steering wheel), connect the output wires that become active when the vehicle is placed in Secure Park to the gun rack and trunk release button, and you’re good to go.

There is absolutely no splicing into vehicle wiring. Without splicing into vehicle wiring, the upfitter avoids the risk of unexpected issues that often result when signals have multiple functions, and many hours of labor can be saved as well. That translates into real money saved that can be used for other things.


Published in Police Fleet Manager, Nov/Dec 2015

Rating : 10.0

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