Share your fully upfitted police vehicle interior.
Request for Interior Images
By: Ed Sanow
By now, nearly all departments have at least some experience with the NextGen police vehicles. From a performance standpoint, I am certain that experience was all good news. The NextGen vehicles have faster acceleration, get better gas mileage, have higher top speeds, have superior handling, and achieve shorter braking distances compared to the Ford CVPI benchmark.
From an officer roominess, prisoner space, and trunk cargo standpoint…not so much. We have had over 20 years—an entire police career—of the very large Ford CVPI and before that, the Chevy Caprice. It may have taken a few months to realize the NextGen sedans are smaller, much smaller and maybe even too small. In fact, we are starting to see the first round of “buyer regret” where the police vehicle selected by the department just didn’t work out.
Seeing the upcoming reality of smaller sedans, the automakers did what they could given the exterior package of their cars: move seats around, reduce door trims, reduced seat padding, increased the door opening arc—all in an effort to get the most from the retail car interior they have to start with.
For their part, the aftermarket accessory manufacturers also came up with creative, space-saving ways to mount all the gear we carry and make the best use of the available space. While advanced center console designs help the front seat ergonomics, perhaps the best example of the aftermarket effort is with the prisoner partitions.
Some of the designs for the NextGen cars wrap around the back of the front seats, are relieved under the front seats and bulged back around the rear of the center console. Every effort was made to give both the officer and the prisoner the maximum possible space. The gun racks are creatively integrated either to the front or the rear. And we are seeing a new trend toward single prisoner cages.
Any new vehicle design means a new upfitting effort. The automakers did what they could. The aftermarket accessory manufacturers did what they could. It is up to us to do the rest to complete the ergonomic upfit. Where do you put all the emergency, communications and enforcement gear? It is like a Rubik’s Cube. Solving the space puzzle means both creativity and trial-and-error. In my coast-to-coast, border-to-border travels, I have seen some extremely well-done interior upfits, and some that were mere after-thoughts.
Each year, we conduct a Police Vehicle Graphics Design Contest. The purpose is to find, and then share with all of law enforcement, the most professional-looking exterior markings. The winning designs are frequently used by other departments to mark their cars. That is the entire point!
While not a formal contest, we are seeking images of the fully upfitted interiors of your police vehicles to share with all of law enforcement. Show off your upfit and creative effort. Take flash photos from the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. Take flash photos of the seats, center console and dash, and then of the dash and overhead from both sides.
While it could be obvious, identify the year, make and model of the vehicle. This image request is not just for the police sedans! We want to share interior shots of the crossovers and SUVs, too. Remember to give credit to your upfitter, whether in-house, dealer, regional or factory.
Put the high-res images on a CD and postal mail the CD to the Hendon Media Group offices. (Sorry, we can’t accept e-mailed images, and unlike the graphics contest, we won’t have a separate website.) Then watch the pages of Police Fleet Manager. Think of it this way: You have a solution to the Rubik’s Cube of NextGen police vehicles. Let everyone know!