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Operational Performance Systems Upfit Solutions

Written by Brad Brewer

In March 2010, Constable P. Smith was operating a Chevrolet Tahoe PPV equipped with an OPS designed, manufactured and installed kennel with a drawer system with two police canines. The officer was informed of a vehicle heading his way at a high rate of speed. A female driver with more than double the legal limit of alcohol in her system crashed her vehicle into the rear of the parked Chevrolet Tahoe PPV with no attempts at reducing her speed. A collision investigator calculated her speed at about 75 mph.

The Tahoe was pushed forward into a ditch, twisting the frame of the truck. All four doors of the Tahoe were functional, and both dogs were able to walk away from the collision. The officer and canines were able to return to full duties after two weeks of recovery.

Cst. Smith is currently operating a new Chevrolet Tahoe PPV with that exact same kennel and drawer system, the one involved in the crash. With the exception of two broken welds, and the need for a new handle, the system remained intact. In a statement given to OPS Inc, Cst. Smith said, “I believe that if the OPS kennel & drawer system had not been in my vehicle, things would have not been as fortunate as they were for my canine friends and me.”

 

From Garage to Commercial Building

For Mike Lawrenson, the President of Operational Performance Systems (OPS Inc), Cst. Smith’s statement is a testament to the quality and effort that goes into the products his company makes. Back in 1998, Mike Lawrenson started the journey that would later develop into OPS Inc. He started out as a licensed auto mechanic, but soon after wanted to start his own business. Ranger Supply Van and Truck Outfitting was formed, a Canadian company specializing in outfitting trucks to enhance tradesman efficiency on the job.

In 1999, Lawrenson added a full-time installer, built a 300-square-foot addition to his garage, and his company started to do custom fabrication. The first large-scale custom job was a mobile breathalyzer unit. This successful project resulted in Lawrenson leasing a 3,500-square-foot commercial building. OPS officially transitioned from Ranger Supply as the public safety market opened up and OPS moved into a 25,000-square-foot facility. Today OPS Inc. has many products in the field with clients spread out across North America. They now have a 70,000-square-foot USA operation.

 

Police, Fire, EMS

OPS Inc. designs and builds storage units for Police, Fire, EMS, military, utilities and businesses who need organized storage in the vehicle. OPS has a rapid order-to-deliver time. They recently built 142 storage units in 28 days.

Their aluminum interior rollout systems have many innovative ideas to enhance efficiency simply by having the equipment stowed in an organized fashion. These units are user-friendly and are designed for the everyday abuse that occurs in a workday of EMS, Fire and Military personnel.

The Pelican Case Storage 3 Drawer System allows the user to enhance his/her work capacity and efficiency while performing his/her duties. It is lightweight but still a robust, 0.100-inch-thick aluminum structure. It has dividers for every drawer as a standard feature. An EZ-Handle and EZ Slam latch provides an easy close for the user. It has 200-pound and 500-pound, 100-percent extension slides. Finally, it is custom fit to maximize the storage capacity in the Pelican case.

OPS Inc. has also developed turnkey aluminum truck body kits for Utility companies, which come with aluminum interior storage kits that include shelving, drawer systems, cabinets, lockers and more. OPS Inc. also supplies wiring packages and special request products, saving the end user the trouble of having to source items at a number of different locations. OPS Inc. provides a “One Stop Shop” for all venders who value this service. OPS Inc. has taken the time to develop strong relationships with suppliers who provide the items that are needed in your truck.

 

Custom Designs

OPS Inc. can also provide design and build process for any specific vehicles used by your agency that are outfitted like a Utilities vehicle. A GM, Dodge, or Ford, or Sprinter van used for Forensic Identification Units, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Units, or Crime Scene Investigators has many small items, sometimes very expensive items that need to be stored securely but still easily accessible. These vehicles often need the largest range of aluminum van equipment like shelving, partitions, drawers, ladder racks and accessories.

Most recently with the overwhelming success of Ford Police Interceptor Utility, OPS Inc. made the decision to focus in on building custom law-enforcement storage drawer systems. OPS Inc. also makes similar systems for the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the Ford Expedition, and the Dodge Durango. OPS Inc. has improved product development, quality, turnaround times and profitability through driving standardization into their manufacturing processes in which customers can get a storage vault as quick as within 24 hours of ordering.

 

Design and Materials

The two keys to any product standing up to real-world abuse are how well it is designed and the materials used to make it. Things like the grade and gauge of the raw aluminum are vital to a quality product. OPS Inc. has meticulously selected the materials that go into any product it makes. Careful consideration goes into the way the edges are finished, not only appearance but safety. The corners of the drawers are folded properly without any obvious bend cracks, which are so prevalent in weaker grades of aluminum.

The design and strength of the storage unit’s drawers also become important when looking at heavy-duty, long-term use. One of the advances OPS Inc. has is their design team, which is made up of experts with the SolidWorks computer-aided design program. It enables them to offer a wide range of standardized products in custom sizes. OPS also offers design/build capabilities for any law-enforcement vehicle interior upfit and can provide first-class drawings/models for any application. OPS Inc. over engineers all its drawers using heavy-duty roller bearing slides.

 

Storage Drawer Vault

The OPS Storage Drawer Vault is a state-of-the-art, all-aluminum drawer unit that will keep valuables secured, yet remains easily accessible. These units are rated at 500 pounds capacity, with ball bearing slides and a single-motion latching system, which allows for one-handed operation. Designed especially for the Chevy Tahoe and Ford PI Utility, the OPS Storage Drawer Vault attaches to the vehicle’s original OEM mounting points in roughly 30 minutes.

The OPS Storage Drawer Vault is manufactured from industrial grade aluminum, which will provide years of reliable service. The top of the unit is coated with ‘Rhino Lining’, providing a durable anti-slip and anti-glare surface. The drawer is available in a variety of depths and has two adjustable dividers, allowing customization to your specific storage needs.

 

PI Utility Spare Tire

The spare tire in the Ford PI Utility is integral in that particular vehicle’s 75 mph rear crash rating. Ford recently advised all agencies to leave the spare tire inside the vehicle at all times. This means your storage unit must be designed to hold maximum load while also allowing for quick access to the spare tire at all times. You also should use a system that doesn’t require the operator to use both hands to hold up a cover plate while trying to remove the spare tire. The OPS products ensure quick safe access to the spare tire at all times without having to hold anything up.

Working closely with Crown Industries, located right next to the Ford Interceptor Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP), the OPS Inc. products are readily available as a ship-through option from Crown. This means OPS Inc. products are available for install right down the street from the Chicago Assembly Plant before you take delivery of your new PI Utility.

OPS stands behind everything they build. For these drawers, they offer a warranty for two vehicle life cycles. That is unique in the marketplace for these types of products. Even with this valuable warranty coverage, their product failure has been less than 2 percent.

As OPS Inc. continues to broaden its exposure and support network across North America, they plan to have a representative in every U.S. State and Province in Canada by the end of 2014. This means a dealer network with local direct access to warranty and parts, as well as 48-hour backup for parts and service. All of this is in recognition of just how important vehicle down time is to fleet managers.

 

Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 23-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He sits on 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.


Published in Police Fleet Manager, Jan/Feb 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated


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