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Dodge Intrepid Enables Chrysler Group to Serve a Nobler Cause

On behalf of DaimlerChrysler, I want to express thanks for this extraordinary opportunity to present information to the law enforcement community.

Let me begin with a little of my background. I am fortunate enough to have has a job that I truly like. For most of my career I have been involved in the fleet business: first as a mechanic, then as a manager. In my nearly 14 years at Chrysler I have held a variety of jobs, including service engineering, vehicle engineering and now fleet engineering. As the manager of fleet engineering, I am responsible for special fleet engineering requirements for all Chrysler Group vehicles, including police vehicles.

During the last two years, I have spent a great deal of time in conversations with police customers. I have learned a great deal about police vehicles and customers, including that they’re not shy about telling you what they liked and disliked about your vehicles. Their input is greatly appreciated and much of it is being, or will be, incorporated in Chrysler Group vehicles.

For example, the 2003 model-year Intrepid features an enhanced ABS brake system and an improved power steering system. Also based on customer input, we’ve added two important options to the Intrepid police vehicle for 2003: side air bags and keyless remote entry.

According to the Michigan State Police Patrol Vehicle Evaluation Program, the 2003 Dodge Intrepid is the “fastest production police car.” This vehicle features the high-output 3.5-liter engine— 242 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. A high-performance suspension, purpose-built lighting and severe-duty powertrain cooling system are also standard on the police package.

Other Intrepid features designed specifically to meet the needs of law enforcement customers include a 150mph calibrated, certified speedometer, severe-duty cooling system, external engine oil, transmission oil and power steering coolers, a column shifter, as well as heavy-duty cloth front bucket seats with manual lumbar adjustment.

We have also worked diligently to make upfitting vehicles easier. In fact, we have recently teamed up with Canfield Equipment to offer this service.

Canfield and DaimlerChrysler have a long history of working together and they are one of the leading police vehicle upfitters. Our relationship with Canfield allows us to offer everything from a simple equipment transfer package to a complete turnkey police car. Equipment packages are ordered through a Dodge dealer or directly from Canfield. For more information you may also call (800) 999-FLEET.

In light of recent events, DaimlerChrysler recognizes the daily heroism involved in being a law enforcement officer. This new appreciation was driven home at the NAFA LEG conference in Orlando this past August.

I was attending a session entitled “Lessons Learned: Fleet Emergency Preparedness” presented by Robert Castro. Bob was showing very haunting pictures from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Many of the images I had seen before, but others were new and poignant.

Aside from the sheer heroism of the officers, what really impressed me was the minute-by-minute account of the steps that took place and the staggering number of personnel involved. The amazing pressure the officers were under must have been overwhelming. The coordination of efforts and personnel was tremendous. It all made my problems seem so inconsequential.

In the grand scheme, what I do for a living is not all that tough. My goal, however, is to do everything within my power to make the job of our law enforcement officers safer and easier by providing them the best vehicle possible.

For any company, profit is the bottom line. However, we at DaimlerChrysler recognize that we are serving a nobler cause: law enforcement.

Gerald L. Appie is the manager of Fleet Engineering in Fleet Operations at DaimlerChrysler.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Jan/Feb 2002

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