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Today Police Fleet Managers (PFM) are constantly trying to do more with less, this is true in all industries but never truer than in Government, specifically Law Enforcement. Constantly bombarded with the latest strategies, Police Fleet Managers are always looking for the “right tool for the job” or “purpose built” but in some specific cases outside the purchase of standard patrol vehicles that can be difficult to achieve. In the past Police Fleet Managers have often had to except a specialty vehicle that wasn’t exactly the right tool for the job resulting in unexpected and often complex modifications. These choices sometimes resulted in a commercial off the shelf (COTS) utility vehicle which meant agencies were led down a purchase path of an 80% solution. The agency gets almost what they need for mission success but are left filling in the remaining (often most critical) 20% on their own.

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The outfit process with today’s electronics can be very complex on a standard full-size patrol vehicle, let alone a smaller capacity Special Use Vehicles. The thought of adding computers, sirens, lights, and additional electrical demand needs careful forethought in order to achieve results without overloading the engineered design and purpose of the Special Use Vehicle. Whether it be a mini pickup style utility vehicle to assist agencies with Mounted Units and their unique demands with having horses and stables to maintain, or EVOC Units with a need to support a training facility track without the use of a full-size vehicle. The potential now exists to have one of these Special Use Vehicles replace a full-size vehicle to reduce costs and provide a more effective tool. Many agencies are also required to provide all terrain solutions for deployments like Search and Rescue, Beach Patrol, Crowd Control, Parking Enforcement, Bylaw Enforcement, or Paramedic solutions for large event crowd applications. Anyone that’s worked large events knows the difficulty in getting through large crowds safely but quickly. Regular sized patrol vehicles struggle in these situations but Special Use vehicles are nimble and quick enough to solve the problem while mitigating the risk associated with moving quickly in large crowds.
One of the key challenges with using the Special Use Vehicles is the need to make them look legit and outfit them so the public respect and respond to them just like they would with any other type of Law Enforcement vehicle. These unique Law Enforcement missions require custom solutions and the new Special Application Vehicles (SAV) from John Deere/IAS and Polaris Ranger line allow police, law enforcement, Fire, EMS, and security agencies the freedom to tailor a utility vehicle to their specific needs without having to compromise.

John Deere Specialty Application Vehicles (SAV)

John Deere in collaboration with International Automated Systems (IAS) have introduced a line of heavy-duty utility vehicles designed for military, governmental and first responder customers. Built on the proven John Deere Utility Vehicle chassis, these vehicles are available in both gas and diesel, offer available Heat and Air Conditioning on all Cab models, are available in red, white, blue, and black; and end-users can determine location and placement of custom decals to match the rest of their fleet.
“The difference with the John Deere/IAS SAV’s is allowing the customer’s voice to resonate regarding mission needs and final configuration,” says Todd Halstead, Program Manager for John Deere. “Whether the need is a single or two-row SAV with custom designed cargo bed, OEM lighting and communication packages or an extended bed SAV with a cab, heat &air conditioning and heavy-duty suspension, Deere and IAS have you covered!”
The John Deere/IAS SAV’s are ripe with standard features and options to resolve the typical restrictions and outfitting issues that are common with specialty vehicles. Features such as switched power ports for comm equipment with several radio location options, run flat tires as well as true bead lock wheels are available. IAS has even sourced Puncture-Proof, intensive-use seat covers for all styles of our available seating types.
There are multiple lighting packages and options ranging from simple standard beacons to
NFPA1906 Off-Road, and NFPA1901 On-Road lighting packages. Other options include antenna mounting brackets, cab door and half door options, lockable weapon mounts and lockable weapon storage. John Deere’s rust-proof, heavy-duty aluminum cargo bed boasts an 81” length and a 56” width, complete with aircraft style L-Track tie downs and are among the largest in the industry. The long bed was designed to accommodate traffic barriers, cones, bicycles, multiple kennels and a myriad of other uses. Available dash-cams and integrated rear-view mirror cameras along with standard side mirrors are also available. “Hard Surface” tires and Off-Road tire packages and available Track Systems keep your Law Enforcement SAV rolling and help to maximize the comfort and durability of this purpose-built vehicle. Unique missions sometimes require unique vehicles and John Deere/IAS are able to customize any of their SAV’s to satisfy an agency mission. The days of each agency having to stumble through their own shop designed one of a kind outfitting solution are gone! Service, support and warranty are key consideration with any vehicle purchase.  The JD-IAS SAV’s are backed by a full warranty from John Deere with support and service through a local John Deere dealer.  Additionally, extended warranty and maintenance plans are available and can be purchased with the vehicle and on the same purchase order.
In addition to the Police/Law Enforcement SAV’s, JD/IAS offer solutions for Fire and EMS/Rescue.  The Fire SAV’s can be configured to support multiple brands of fire suppression systems and are ideal solutions for both urban and rural departments needing access to areas where larger response vehicles can’t navigate.  The EMS/Rescue SAV’s feature forward-facing attendant seat (keeping attendant safe under the protection of the Occupant Protective System (OPS)) as well as a full-length cargo bed capable of securely accommodating Stokes or Stryker stretchers that do NOT extend beyond the back of the vehicle.
John Deere’s deep commitment to quality is a calling card of the brand, and is one of the primary reasons that Deere is the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural, forestry and turf equipment.  With more than 70,000 employees worldwide, and operations in more than 30 countries, John Deere can be depended upon to meet your equipment needs.
IAS has been in operation since 1987, designing, manufacturing and installing automated mechanized equipment, primarily to the US Military. It is the sole source designer, manufacturer, installer and maintainer of automated mechanical systems used by USAF bases around the world for the vertical storage of fighter aircraft wing tanks.   Additionally, IAS custom-modifies John Deere utility vehicles to meet stringent military specifications and the unique niche needs of specialized governmental and first responder units.
IAS administrative offices and manufacturing operations are located in Baldwin, WI.
These vehicles, under agreement with IAS, are available to the Department of Defense, State, city, county, municipal or local tax-supported governmental agencies, turnpikes, airports, housing authorities, electric cooperatives, water cooperatives, K-12 public school systems, public and private higher education facilities such as colleges and universities, public and volunteer fire departments, public or non-profit museums, libraries and zoos. For more information about the new John Deere/IAS Special Application Vehicles (SAV), visit: https://www.deere.com/en/gator-utility-vehicles/military-gators/ or http://www.iasmn.com/wp/utility-vehicles-2/

Polaris Government and Defense Vehicles

Polaris Government and Defense has a well-established and trusted line-up of equipment for RANGER side-by-side vehicles tailored to meet the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel. The upfitted RANGER vehicles allow these organizations to perform critical duties in off-road and urban areas where other emergency response vehicles aren’t as effective. The equipment is professionally installed in a turn-key vehicle package with a full warranty from Polaris. The Polaris RANGER is integral for departments across the country and has been since its introduction in 1998. RANGERs help improve response time and reach to locations both urban and off-road, typically where cars, trucks or helicopters cannot operate. This includes narrow passage ways like secluded lots and city events, as well as rugged, off-road terrain. RANGERs are also a budget-friendly alternative to full-size vehicles because they are less expensive to purchase, operate and maintain.
“Polaris is dedicated to providing law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel with vehicles and equipment that help them complete their missions quicker and more effectively,” said Jed Leonard, director, Polaris Government and Defense. “We’re proud to be the only off-road OEM to offer this level of government equipment in a single purchase. Reliability and peace of mind of these products is delivered by Polaris through validation, procurement, and support, which lets these professionals focus on their jobs.” Polaris RANGER and Pro XD utility vehicles augment current vehicle fleets and maximize productivity. These vehicles are highly maneuverable and can access locations both urban and off-road, where cars, trucks or vans cannot operate. They also are a budget-friendly alternative to full-size vehicles, as are the maintenance, parts, and repair costs. Yet they retain significant capability with up to 1,250-lb cargo bed capacity and 2,500-lb towing capacity.
Specialized application packages allow for law enforcement, fire, rescue, ground maintenance, delivery, technician, maintenance, shuttle and repair. Accessories are also available with priority shipping to government customers, including heat, A/C, roof, windshield and specialized medical skid with stokes basket. RANGER law enforcement units provide professional, squad car-type capabilities in a nimble off-road and urban mobility vehicle complete with the same sirens, horns, PA system and emergency lighting from Federal Signal. These come installed by Action Fleet, a professional emergency vehicle up-fitter since 1995.
RANGER firefighting units incorporate a professional system that is familiar, having been developed with years of firefighter input by RKO™ Enterprises. These RANGERs incorporate a capable pump, hose and reel, a combination tank for water and a compressed air foam suppression system and the ability draft from a water source. Mounting options can accommodate preferences for different departments and uses. RANGER rescue vehicles incorporate a rear attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket. Rescue personnel can select between the full-length or break-apart basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Polaris also is providing a combination fire and rescue package, which includes the fire tank and equipment as well as the stokes rescue basket. The RANGERs maintain the option for the rear equipment skids to be removed all together for use by other departments or jobs from public works, to parades. Custom graphics can be added so vehicles match the rest of the fleet.
All these new offerings come with traditional Polaris accessories options. The most popular with government agencies include the full cab, winches, storage, heating and air conditioning. “Action Fleet, RKO Enterprises and Federal Signal have been valued partners of ours for years, and we respect the work they do immensely,” said Leonard. “Working with industry experts provides the best, finished vehicles for our customers. Action Fleet, RKO and Federal Signal share our commitment to quality – from selecting proven components known for durability and performance, and quality installation for a vehicle we all stand behind.”
Polaris law enforcement, fire and rescue RANGERs are available for purchase through GSA, NJPA, state or local contracts, or direct from Polaris. Once purchased, the RANGER will be professionally upfit and delivered directly to the customer’s location, or their Polaris dealer of choice. The entire system comes fully set up for immediate use and is under full warranty from Polaris. Polaris also offers customers the capability to support and maintain their own fleet of vehicles through maintenance and operator training courses, or Polaris can be contracted directly to provide the on-site service for the vehicles.

Polaris Provides Grant Assistance

Polaris recently expanded customer support services through a partnership that provides free and unlimited grant assistance from industry professionals. More than $600 billion in nationwide grants is available to public safety agencies and local government each year, and even more has been freed up for COVID-10 response. As critical equipment, Polaris side-by-side and utility vehicles are available through these grants. UTVs are used for urban and off-road patrol, search and rescue, movement of key public safety, medical and other personnel, distribution of food, water, ice, medicine and other supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
These grant experts will guide each customer throughout the process from research and application to narrative review, for the vehicles they need via five tailored websites:
“Polaris is dedicated to public safety and government organizations and this unprecedented situation doesn’t change that – our sales and support lines remain open and we are making a significant allotment of Polaris’ national UTV inventory immediately available to ensure you have the vehicle solutions you need,” said Jed Leonard, vice president, Polaris Government and Defense. Polaris Government and Defense vehicles are forged from 65 years of off-road innovation and leadership. The commercial prowess and innovative culture of Polaris are leveraged to deliver unique value to government entities and military forces worldwide. This dedicated division provides highly capable, simple to use, and affordable mobility platforms and vehicles that are readily available through easy procurement channels and supported through lifecycle training, service and maintenance from Polaris – the original equipment manufacturer. Headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit  www.polaris.com  for more information.
Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 30-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He was an eight-year member of the Ford Police Advisory Board and regularly gives presentations at law enforcement conferences on mobile computing, wireless technology and police vehicle ergonomics. He can be reached at sgt1411@gmail.com.
– Photos courtesy of John Deere, Polaris Brad Brewer
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