This year at Police Fleet Expo (PFE), all three OEMs will be excited about finally getting back to the trade show floor so they can show off their new products in person and directly interface with customers once again. This year’s PFE will showcase many new products to see on the show floor, some of which attendees likely have not seen before. Here are the highlights of what to expect at this year’s PFE!
For the 2020 model year, Ford released a completely new civilian Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility (PIU), which has taken the market by storm with the standard Hybrid PIU capitalizing on the previous generation PIU’s success. The drastic changes to the 2020 PIU were literally segment-changing. So significant was the new PIU that the Ford Police Interceptor Utility is currently America’s best-selling police vehicle. Working closely with Ford’s own Police Advisory Board (PAB), the PIU is purpose-built and the only Police vehicle in the world tested to meet the rigorous 75-mph, rear-impact crash test.
Ford continues to push the envelope with new technology, leveraging PAB input and front-line officer feedback. Ford has incorporated customer-driven technologies such as available Police Perimeter Alert and an Integrated Computer Screen that improve officer safety and efficiency. The Integrated Computer Screen (ICS) is a feature that has been garnering a lot of attention as of late. The factory-installed and warranted solution allows for agencies to mirror their police laptop screen in the Ford 12.1-inch center stack screen, while having their equipment safely stowed in the rear of the vehicle.
The Ford Police Interceptor Utility is still the only pursuit-rated Hybrid Police Utility that provides agencies with significantly reduced fuel consumption and expenditures, CO2 emissions, reduced engine use, and maintenance. Ford suggests potentially over $3,500 in annual savings based on some preliminary testing results and they have provided some interesting metrics for agencies to calculate their potential savings. See more details here: https://www.ford.com/police-vehicles/police-interceptor/hybrid-utility/calculator/
The biggest news from Ford for PFE 2021 will be the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder®. This vehicle remains in a class by itself as it is still America’s only purpose-built, pursuit-rated pickup truck. For 2021, the Responder features an improved top speed of 120 mph and added capability with Ford’s new torque-on-demand 4×4 transfer case, featuring four-auto mode with “set it and forget it” capability.
Ford went all out on the new Responder and it shows with the unique police-specific engineering improvements in many areas. One of which is the tires; the engineering and testing that the product team put into the design to produce an off-road tire that is pursuit-capable is no easy achievement. In fact, it has not been done before–this tire is capable of running hard on pavement and then transitioning in seconds to a gravel or muddy side road without any loss of performance or stability from the tire. This year’s testing showed a big improvement for the Ford Police Responder F-150.
The F-150 Responder has new technology and officer-inspired upgrades, such as available Police Engine Idle, SYNC 4 with wireless software updated, and an 8-inch touchscreen. The Responder also boasts the most towing, payload, torque, and interior passenger volume of any pursuit-rated police vehicle. For more Responder info, visit: Ford Introduces All-New 2021 F-150 Police Responder with Improved Top Speed, Added Capability
Ford previously revealed its all-new F-150 Special Service Vehicle (SSV), the non-pursuit SSV based on the retail 2021 F-150. The all-new F-150 SSV is purpose-built to serve the community and support non-pursuit roles where trailering, payload, and utility are mission-critical.
The F-150 SSV provides power with a 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid engine with improved fuel economy, plus towing and payload capacity to meet the specialized needs of these unique deployments. The SSV is designed to be upfit-ready to support emergency lighting, radios, computers, and other onboard electrical equipment. Standard features include a column shifter, heavy-duty cloth front seats with no center seat section or console, vinyl rear seat, vinyl flooring, and a 240-amp alternator.
Ford’s all-new F-150 has the most available towing, payload, torque, and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. It introduces all-new features to increase officer productivity, such as new connected vehicle innovations such as over-the-air updates that help keep F-150 at the forefront of purposeful technology.
The all-new F-150 SSV starts with a durable, proven foundation, a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body. F-150 SSV is available in F-150 XL SuperCrew configuration, with the option of the 5.0L V8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6, or all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full hybrid engine, either a 4×4 or 4×2 drivetrain, and available FX4 Off-Road Package. A high-output 240-amp alternator on gas engine options replaces the stock unit to meet the demands for additional onboard electrical power.
F-150 SSV includes an all-new interior with a standard column shifter, heavy-duty cloth front seats with no center seat section or console, vinyl rear seat, and vinyl floors. These features are designed for the hard-wearing requirements and easy cleanup required by government agencies. The interior is configured to allow custom upfits for aftermarket consoles, computers, and other equipment used in everyday duties.
An 8-inch center touchscreen is standard for better rear-view camera vision and easy access to the digital owner’s manual, which can help operators find the information they need more easily, including how-to videos for additional explanation. The all-new SYNC® 4 is standard, helping minimize distractions with hands-free voice control as well as core features such as the capability to make phone calls and enable audible text dictation.
Adding to the Ford Police SSV lineup is the SSV Expedition, ideal for tactical work, hazardous-materials activity, evidence-tech operations, and off-road duty. The Ford Expedition Special Service Vehicle (SSV) comes in standard and extended-length MAX versions and can handle all kinds of action, big time. The robust aluminum-alloy body encloses an ultra-refined cabin that has ample room available for up to eight, plus the capacity to hold accompanying cargo. Thoughtful design cues include smart connectivity technology and a space-enhancing, fold-flat load floor. A column shifter and front center-section seat delete make room for onboard equipment. Well-cushioned cloth adorns the front-row bucket seats, and the same comfort is available for the second row. Easy-clean vinyl covers the standard second-row seating, along with the full floor; plus, you get a handy array of third-row storage bins in lieu of third-row seating spaces.
At nearly a foot longer than the standard-length version, the Expedition MAX SSV accommodates an additional 16.9 cu. ft. of supplies and munitions. Both Expedition models are provisioned with a potent 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbocharged direct-injection V6. Delivering a tenacious 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, the benefits of this engine become all the more apparent when taking advantage of the max. 9,300-lb. towing brawn. Stick with RWD, or opt for greater all-terrain confidence with available 4WD, which includes skid plates. You can also benefit from the gains of the 10-speed SelectShift automatic and Auto Start-Stop technology.
The Ford Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle (PTV) features single, double or triple prisoner inserts and the potential to add optional surveillance cameras, intercoms, lighting, and more. Considerable versatility extends to the best-in-class choice of vehicle formats: three body lengths (Regular, Long, Extended), three roof heights (Low, Medium, High), two widths and two engines; each powerplant is paired with a 10-speed SelectShift® automatic. Gain easy access to the passenger side with the available power sliding door. Available dual rear wheels (DRW) provide additional hauling and towing prowess. A significant cargo capacity with a maximum of 5,110 lbs. assists this PTV to master demanding challenges. Should extra muscle be required, a substantial gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) with a maximum of 11,000 lbs. comes in handy. As does something as simple as the front overhead shelf that is standard on medium- and high-roof vans. With a flat cargo floor and near-vertical sides, Transit maximizes usable space.
PTV is loaded with standard Ford Co-Pilot360TM Technology: Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB); Post-Collision Braking; Lane-Keeping System; Hill Start Assist; Rear View Camera with Trailer Hitch Assist; Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers; and Auto High-Beam Headlamps. Available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) helps keep Transit PTV steady as it goes – so does standard AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability ControlTM) with Side-Wind Stabilization. AWD can make all the difference in getting to a destination. Normal, ECO, Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Tow/Haul are Selectable Drive Modes.
Also stay tuned for the 2022 E-Transit, a completely electric PTV that will be available to agencies across North America in 2022.
The Dodge Law Police Program has been very successful by carving itself a nice slice of the Law Enforcement pie with the Charger and Durango Pursuit vehicles. Selling out the 2020 Charger sedan production was very significant, as the Charger now stands as the only pursuit-rated full-size sedan left in the Police market space.
For 2021, both the sedan and SUV receive a handful of significant updates, and the order banks are now open, but the two vehicles will have staggered production starts. Both of these vehicles are equipped with new transmissions and high-tech options designed to enhance officer safety, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency.
“Designed and built based on input from our Police Advisory Board and direct officer feedback, the 2021 Dodge Charger and Durango Pursuit deliver on our promise to offer police agencies the most advanced law-enforcement vehicle lineup in the industry whether as a sedan or a sport-utility vehicle,” said Jeff Kommor, Head of U.S. Sales for Dodge.
Dodge is making the company’s TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic gearbox available to both powertrains it offers in the Charger. Dodge is offering a new V6 with all-wheel drive and the Hemi V8 in a rear-wheel-drive setup. Dodge is somewhat protective when it comes to the specific details of each powertrain, but recent product info suggests that for 2021, the Pentastar is now rated at 300 HP compared to 292 HP in the 2020 model, and torque is now 264 lb-ft compared to 260 lb-ft last year. Dodge does say both powertrains exceed the acceleration, braking, and handling profiles of the previous vehicle. To enhance these powertrains even further, the engineers have also included a new updated and unique ESC tuning calibration that will enhance the performance of the Charger and Durango Pursuit. Every Law Enforcement Fleet Manager knows the real test of these changes will be when MSP and LASD put all of three OEMs’ police vehicles through their annual vehicle testing in September and October.
Other new standard features include a top speed setting of 140 mph with the ability for Fleet Managers to configure and limit top speed for specific agency needs, electric power steering, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 5,500 pounds to accommodate additional payload.
2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit
The 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit will offer more than 20 new standard features.
The AWD Durango Pursuit is powered by the standard 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine or the optional legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, both mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. Same as the Charger, the engineers have also included a new updated and unique “police” ESC tuning calibration that will enhance the performance of the Durango.
Other notable improvements include an IP-mounted shift lever to free up valuable space in the center console area. This is a very big deal because not having the shifter on the steering column was a showstopper for some agencies, which forced them to consider one of the other pursuit-rated SUVs. This move also allows agencies to transfer equipment from one vehicle to another, as the older Durangos required a unique center console to allow space for the shifter, but not anymore.
In keeping with tradition, the Durango pursuit has the black steel wheels with chrome center caps, steering wheel-mounted four programmable auxiliary switches, and police-specific front seats to accommodate duty belts and enable easier access to seat-belt latch points.
“These features, such as the new IP-mounted shift lever, free up valuable space between the front seats to accommodate the police aftermarket equipment needed for the officers to accomplish their jobs,” Kommor said.
Other key features now being offered are the upfit-friendly Vehicle Systems Interface Module, which allows much simpler and faster connectivity to OEM electrical systems for customizing police-only features such as lighting and battery protection, plus safety features. The vehicle system’s interface module features a radio mute input, pulse width modulation vehicle speed output, reverse position output, and drive position output.
The heavy-duty BR9 brake package is a must with the Durango Pursuit, along with standard vinyl flooring and a tri-zone climate control system designed with K-9 units in mind. The Durango Pursuit has a top speed setting of 130 mph with the ability for customers to configure and limit for specific agency needs. Agencies that wish to deploy unmarked units will have several new color options available as well. For agencies that prefer the “Fleet Key Alike,” this feature is available on both the 2021 Charger and Durango Pursuit and is compatible between both models.
As for OEM multimedia systems, arguably one of the best on the market is the available Uconnect® 12.1-inch touchscreen, which allows integration of law enforcement systems while relocating the agency computer to the trunk for optimal space savings. It is designed to be operated with gloves and in extreme temperatures while maintaining unrestricted access to vehicle controls. Production of the 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit started in the first quarter of 2021 at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
The Dodge Police Program will still have the Ram 1500 SSV for 2021. It is a carryover with no changes, but for 2021, they will also offer a Ram HD SSV package as well.
GENERAL MOTORS CHEVROLET
The big GM news at this year’s Police Fleet Expo (PFE) is the introduction of the new 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV Special Service Vehicle (SSV) and refresh of the Chevy Bolt EV with new SSV package. GM has taken the leap forward to provide Law Enforcement Fleet Managers the ability to green their fleets with a fully electric, zero emission Administrative and Detective duty vehicle. The SSV Bolt not only looks more exciting inside and out, the redesigned electric hatchback also has enhanced features and a much cheaper asking price. While the most noticeable changes are its futuristic body panels and freshly refinished cabin, it still employs a front-drive powertrain that delivers near-instant acceleration with a 0-60 mph of 6.5 seconds for the EV and 0-60 mph of 7.0 seconds for the longer EUV model.
GM estimates the 2022 Bolt EUV can travel up to 247 miles on a full charge and 259 miles for the slightly smaller Bolt EV model. While the Tesla Model 3 Long Range can travel up to 353 miles on one charge, it costs considerably more and is not offered as an SSV. The new Bolt’s accessible price, roomy interior, technology, and satisfying driving dynamics should be strong selling points.
The 2022 Bolt EV SSV undergoes a comprehensive redesign that includes updated exterior and interior styling while the larger EUV is all-new. With exception to the SSV-equipped models, the electrical and mechanical components remain relatively the same as the previous generation Bolt EV. The hatchback adds a newly available dual-level charging cord as well as an increased Level 2 (240-volt) maximum charging capability. The electrified hatchback EV model is still available with DC fast charging that can add about 100 miles of range every 30 minutes with a Level 3 connection. The EUV crossover model comes standard with DC fast charging. To power emergency equipment and communication devices, the SSV package adds multiple dedicated circuits (20 and 30 amp), a surveillance mode circuit to blackout interior and exterior lighting (with exception to brake lights), and offers four extra remote key fobs for a total of 6. The EV SSV model also comes standard with steel wheels.
The plans are to have the 2022 Bolt EUV SSV in the Ride & Drive event at PFE so Fleet Managers and Police Officers can actually sit inside and experience the performance around the track. The SSV powertrain and chassis are identical to the retail models. Its electric motor sends 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque exclusively to the front wheels. This setup provides instantaneous response to accelerator inputs and ample low-end torque that lets you shoot off the line when the light turns green.
Responses are less immediate at highway speeds, but the new electric Chevy should still make passing and merging on the highway a cinch. We anticipate that it will again deliver a composed ride and plenty of power—and a pleasant enough driving demeanor to challenge whatever negative preconceptions you might have about electric vehicles. In addition to the steering wheel-mounted on-demand regenerative braking button, there’s also a one pedal driving mode—activated via a button on the center console—that increases regenerative braking to the point where you rarely need to use the brakes to slow down.
The SSV Bolt EV’s cabin has a more upscale design that the company says includes better materials than before and more soft-touch surfaces. The SSV has the standard dark interior with extra-duty materials for greater durability. The steering wheel now features a flat bottom, the driver faces a new 8.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster, and the old electronic shifter is replaced by a set of pull toggles and push buttons similar to the new Corvette and Tahoe PPV. Although the updated Bolt EV has the same passenger space as before, including a back seat that’s roomy enough for two adults, it does have redesigned front seats that are said to be more comfortable. The EUV crossover provides 4 inches more leg room for rear seat passengers than the EV.
The EV hatchback’s rear cargo space still measures 17 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 57 cubes with those rear seatbacks folded flat. Every Bolt features a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with popular standard features, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A subscription-based WiFi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging are also available. Complementing the touch controls are physical knobs for volume and tuning as well as a shortcut button for the home screen. The Chevy’s infotainment system allows over-the-air updates and includes built-in apps that are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Spotify music streaming services.
The 2022 Bolt boasts a roster of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. Along with standard automatic high-beams and front pedestrian detection, the up-level Bolt can be equipped with a 360-degree camera system and rear cross-traffic alert. For more information about the Bolt crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. These include standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and available adaptive cruise control on premium models.
GM has also set up some authorized upfitter information to assist in the addition of Police Specific equipment. To assist Fleet Managers even more, GM Financial is now allowing customers to roll in new communication equipment, emergency lighting, labor, prisoner partitions, and more into their vehicle leases, which is pretty cool, even if it is for a one-off K-9 or command vehicle. Further, GM Financial even allows EV infrastructure to be included in the lease of an electric vehicle, which is a pretty big deal considering what is ideal to prepare an agency for 220-volt or 440 DC fast charging. This type of support from an OEM is huge when looking to introduce electrification to your fleets.
The GM Police and Law Enforcement lineup also includes the pursuit-rated Tahoe PPV, Tahoe SSV, and Silverado SSV. The extremely popular Tahoe PPV is actually sold out for 2021 and anyone interested will be required to order a 2022 model year. Given the demand, you had better get your orders in quickly come mid-August as production could be limited for the Police models of the Tahoe. This is no surprise as all previous generation Tahoe PPVs have proven themselves with officer-friendly ergonomics and low cost of ownership due to its high resale value at auction.
Shortly after the release of the all-new 2021 retail Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade lineup, the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) was introduced. Tahoe PPV remains the only pursuit-rated body-on-frame Police SUV on the market since the competition has moved to unitized construction for their Crossovers, SUVs, and Sedans. Available in either 2WD or 4WD, the Tahoe PPV has an entire host of safety features, if desired, like Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Emergency Braking.
The 2021 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle has been engineered and built to meet the extensive needs of today’s law enforcement community. Using the redesigned retail 2021 Chevy Tahoe as its foundation, Tahoe PPV features all the performance of its predecessor, with a smooth ride, greater interior space, larger load capacity (GVWR), and new towing technology. The big news is a new independent rear suspension, which promises improvements in ride quality and handling. Fortunately, the standard full-size spare tire remains under the vehicle, so it is easily available, regardless of cargo, if needed.
The Tahoe PPV model will come with standard 20-inch Firestone Firehawk V-Rated Pursuit tires, a pursuit-rated all-season tire that GM developed alongside Firestone, and a heavy-duty braking system with Brembo six-piston front calipers and 16-inch rotors. A heavy-duty rear differential and lower, more stiffly sprung suspension complete the pursuit-focused performance add-ons.
Inside, an ergonomic design tailored to officers makes entry and exit easier while the police-specific seats are contoured to accommodate duty belts. Plus, extensive electrical architecture featuring a standard wiring harness simplifies upfitting in both the front row and cargo areas. The front doors of all PPV & SSV Tahoes are even prewired for exterior mirror lights. Also standard are two steering wheel-mounted buttons that can be used to control a department radio microphone or any piece of emergency equipment with an on/off control. To power onboard electronics, both the Tahoe PPV and SSV will come with a 760-amp auxiliary battery and a new high-output alternator that is 47 percent more powerful than the one found in the 2020 model.
Available second-row seat delete reduces cost for vehicles intended for rear plastic seats or K-9 inserts. Officers will have improved situational awareness with greater views thanks to larger dimensions, a higher roofline, and larger sideview mirrors. There is also an available Rear Camera Mirror, which essentially allows the driver or front passenger to see through prisoner partitions, vertical long guns, the cargo area, and D-pillars with zoom, tilt, and brightness controls.
Increased trailering capacity up to 6,000 lbs. for 2WD and optional 4WD help eliminate the need for a dedicated towing vehicle. The Tahoe remains one of the most popular SUVs for K-9 units since the improved ergonomics help officers get in and out of the vehicle quickly. Especially useful for K-9, the rear door openings are 3.5-inch wider than previous generations to make K-9 deployments faster and safer but will also assist with the loading of clients that may not be as cooperative as they should be.
The Tahoe SSV is not pursuit-rated but is one of the few 4X4 Special Service Vehicles standard with a robust police-specific wiring harness (same as PPV) and available OEM spot lamps. It carries a maximum payload of 1,745 lbs. and a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 lbs. with the available Max Tow package and two-speed transfer case. Both the 2021 Tahoe PPV and SSV have dual batteries (900 CCA and 760 CCA) with a 250-amp alternator as well as an upgraded electrical architecture with new wiring harnesses that help simplify upfits.
For 2021, probably the biggest upgrade to the Tahoe Police lineup is the introduction of the 6-piston front Brembo® brake calipers and 16-inch front rotors (increased 3 inches in diameter) along with eBoost anti-lock brakes. The Tahoe PPV helps officers stop their vehicles safely and quickly. Plus, push-button Electronic Shift will automatically shift the vehicle to Park if the ENGINE START/STOP button is pressed when the vehicle is stopped while in Drive, Low, or Reverse, which could help save officers valuable seconds. Also new and standard on both PPV and SSV is a Protected Idle feature, allowing the driver to lock the transmission by quickly pressing the cancel cruise control button before exiting the vehicle with the engine running. In this protected condition, the vehicle cannot be placed into gear unless the key fob is detected in the driver seat area.
Make sure you attend the Ride & Drive event at this year’s PFE so you can personally run one of the newly designed Tahoes through the course both on and off the pavement!
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 email@example.com.