Article Archive Details
Hendon Publishing

2013 Police Fleet Expo Southwest

The Police Fleet Expo – Southwest was opened by Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead. During times of great change—like the current transition to new police cars—his advice was to let those most affected by the change be the most involved in the change. Top executives should support the specialists in their staff, but let them do their job. With “resisted” change, avoid top-down decisions.



Ford kicked off the Vehicle Manufacturer Dialogues with a report on the mix of the Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility. From the first deliveries in March 2012 through February 2013, the ratio of Sedans to Utilities was 55 percent


, 45 percent Utility. Ford reported that taken together, these two vehicles account for 53 percent of the police market.

New for 2014, the 3.7L V6 is standard in the PI Sedan. This engine produces both more power and better fuel economy than the 3.5L V6. Also new for 2014, a lower front grille is standard on the PI Sedan. All-Wheel Drive is standard on both the PI Sedan and PI Utility. Front-Wheel Drive is only available on the now-optional 3.5L V6 in the PI Sedan, and not available on the PI Utility. New wiring harnesses are available for both vehicles to reduce upfitting time.


General Motors

Chevrolet’s big news for 2014 was the new steering column (IP) mounted shifter for the Caprice PPV. The largest of the police sedans, the Caprice will come standard with a full-length center console mounting plate, an enhanced police seat, and a front seat-only side curtain airbag (allows full coverage prisoner partition).

The 2013 Impala will continue as a police package vehicle thru the 2014 model year. The Impala 9C1 has the lowest initial cost of any police package vehicle. The Tahoe PPV will have a short 2014 model year to prepare for the 2015 NextGen Tahoe. The current Tahoe has the lowest repair cost, the longest service life, and the highest residual value of any police package vehicle. That gives it the lowest total cost of ownership of any police vehicle.



For 2014, the Dodge police fleet is mostly a carryover—at least until mid-year. The Charger Pursuit gets an even smoother-throw column shifter arc, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and optional power adjustable pedals. The police-specific seat has been tweaked for more comfort and the seat belt receptacle is taller. At about 27 percent of the police market (based on registration), the Charger Pursuit clearly leads the six-vehicle field of police package vehicles in market share.

In mid-2014, the Charger Pursuit with the 5.7L V8 will get the option of

All-Wheel Drive

. This is a Rear-Wheel Drive based system—on demand, the front wheels are engaged. The RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab and the Dodge Durango SUV continue as Special Service Vehicles.

At the Police Fleet Expo, the Agency Networking Sessions are divided into three groups: Under 50 Vehicles, 50 to 150 Vehicles, and Over 50 Vehicles. In the Large Agency session, the emphasis was the clear trend from the Ford CVPI to the crossover (Ford PI Utility) and the SUV (Chevy Tahoe PPV). If the crop of NextGen sedans is considered too small, the option is to go to bigger vehicles, not upfit less gear or carry less cargo.


Mercury Associates

In the Right Size the Fleet session, fleet managers reviewed the Mercury Associates’ Vehicle Allocation Model. This session emphasized: 1) the cost of pool and under-utilized vehicles are actually higher than fully used vehicles; 2) high-mileage vehicles should be rotated into low-use assignments; and 3) the goal for new vehicles should be the smallest and most economical vehicles that can perform the task.


Brite Computers

In the Tablets for Squad Cars session, fleet managers saw solutions from Brite Computers for the problems of full-size laptops, namely, pads and tablets (and convertible laptops). With the same computing capabilities, a tablet: 1) takes up less space in the crowded vehicle; 2) is easier to install outside of the airbag deployment zone; and 3) allows better visibility out the windshield.



In the All About Brakes session, Raybestos technicians explained that pedal pulsation does not come from excessive heat that warps rotors. Rotors don’t warp. Instead they wear unevenly. The main cause of pedal pulsation is thickness variation in the rotor. The main cause of thickness variation is excessive lateral runout of the rotor. This runout allows the abrasive semi-metallic pads to intermittently touch—and grind—thin spots on the rotor. The solution is to use a dial indicator to check the runout out on every rotor every time a rotor is changed, and to star-pattern torque wheels every time wheels are put back on.

In the Fleet Replacement Program session, Mercury Associates emphasized the importance of the lifecycle cost analysis. This is an objective and financially persuasive way to move the focus from initial vehicle cost to the total cost of ownership. Lifecycle costs are initial cost plus upfitting cost plus decommission cost plus operating cost minus residual value and all divided by miles of service life. Also explained was the equally compelling “operating cost versus time” and “depreciation cost (vehicle value) versus time” curves—and where they crossed. Replace vehicles on the lowest total cost portion of the curve.



DeRousse Fleet Consulting

Bill DeRousse closed the conference with a session on the importance of year-end reports. Fleet managers must first know all their costs for all aspects of their operation and then document these for all in police admin and city/county government to see. We must know actual versus budgets costs for fuel, parts, labor, outsourced work, and other aspects of operating costs. Finally, we must run fleet management and fleet maintenance just exactly like a competitive business. That is our best defense against privatization. You can’t measure what you don’t measure.

Almost 70 exhibitors, featuring every aspect of fleet maintenance and fleet management, filled the exhibit hall. Seven companies picked the Police Fleet Expo – Southwest to unveil new products.


Adamson Industries

Adamson introduced the HG2 CrossFire License Plate Frame at the PFE-SW. The HG2 CrossFire is an outward-facing bezel for around either the front or rear plate. It integrates a state-of-the-art emergency lighting system designed for maximum visibility with a minimal footprint. The Crossfire lighting design features optics mounted at grazing angles. The CrossFire enhances visibility by emitting light onto a broader field of view. The CrossFire is available in Red, Blue, Amber or White and either solid colors or split left-right and top-bottom. The CrossFire uses 12 20mm LEDs across the top-bottom and eight 10mm LEDs on the left-right and has a selection of 20 flash patterns.

Other new or recently introduced products from Adamson include: 3.5-inch Super LED round lights for the Charger Pursuit fog light bezels; a lower front grille insert for the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan; skid plates for virtually all police and special service package vehicles; and a wide variety of laptop trays, weapon storage lockers, drawer storage systems and center consoles.



Code 3

Code 3 PSE showed off their Z3™ Siren with the new SWIF (Steering Wheel Interface) module for the Ford PI Sedan and PI Utility. With the SWIF module, the four remappable switches on the Ford steering wheel are turned into a Z3 Siren control head. The size of a credit card, the SWIF module can be installed virtually anywhere. This module provides true hands-free control of all lighting and siren functions. The SWIF module also comes with two additional inputs that can be used for other switching duties.

The Z3 controller is divided into three color and tactile zones for primary, auxiliary and traffic-warning functions. The Z3 Siren has an internal load management system. It can be programmed for time or voltage sense to selectively shutoff emergency gear. The same load management system can be used to selectively shut down other upfitted devices.



Fox Fury introduced their Nomad line of LED scene-area spotlights. The Nomad 360 is a 7,000-lumen light. With the tri-head closed, it is a 360-degree scene light. With the tri-head open, it is either a 120-degree area light (diffuser attached) or a 12-degree spotlight (diffuser removed). The light output is adjustable from dim/off to full bright with runtimes from 24 hours (lowest dim) to three hours (max bright). The Nomad 360 uses a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with a seven-hour recharge time. The Nomad 360 collapses into a 39-inch long, 6-inch diameter tube weighing 23 pounds. It telescopes up to just over 8 feet.

The Nomad Prime is a 4,000-lumen LED light that can be a 120-degree area light (diffuser attached) or an 8-degree spotlight (diffuser removed). Also rechargeable, the Nomad Prime is smaller and lighter than the Nomad 360 but still telescopes to nearly 8 feet.


Go Industries

Go Industries unveiled their Ultra Armor™ finish for all their push bumpers. This is the only push bumper finish to be warranted against rock chips. Unlike powder coated paint, Ultra Armor is similar in toughness and texture to a spray-in truck bed liner. The Ultra Armor coating is a polyurea, a type of elastomer polymer. It is tough enough to withstand repeated hits from a 2-pound ball peen hammer.

Go Industries makes a wide variety of standard push bumpers for all of the police package and special service vehicles. However, they also make custom push bumpers based on the individual police department’s specs. The Fort Worth Police is the latest department to get push bumpers, which are pre-drilled to exactly match their dual front-siren speaker setup and side LEDs. Go Industries works with police departments across


to design and develop both custom push bumpers and PIT bumpers.



New from Havis are complete mounting solutions (docking stations) for the Panasonic Toughpads A1, B1 and G1. The Toughpad A1 is an Android-based, 10-inch device; the Toughpad B2 is an Android-based, 7-inch tablet; and the Toughpad G1 is a Windows-based, 10-inch unit. Tablets in police cars are not the future—they are the now. The tablet docking stations offer charging, security and connection to peripherals.

Havis has monitor and keyboard mounts that ergonomically position the devices yet do not require permanent modification to the vehicle. The mounts allow both tilt and swivel for both the driver and passenger, and can rotate from portrait to landscape. These are designed to fit Motorola, L3-Comm, Data 911, Amrel, Dell, Panasonic, Datalux and XPlore devices.




Lund Industries chose the PFE – Southwest to introduce a number of vehicle upfitting solutions. Their SecureStor dual gun rack is now available for both the Ford PI Sedan and Utility. The SecureStor mounts behind the center console, behind the front seats, and it is (obviously) for non-prisoner partition vehicles. However, a rigid handle guard still prevents the weapons from being charged or cycled while locked in place. The SecureStor bolts to the front seat mounting studs and to the lower crash cross bar under the rear seat.

Lund is right on top of the power curve with new tablet and pad docking stations. In a joint effort with Brite Computers,


released a version of its Universal Computer Mounts specifically designed for tablets and convertible laptops. The fully swing-away mount separately holds the tablet/pad display and the keyboard (if used). Finally,


displayed their new lockable, low-profile pistol storage box that fits in any of their center consoles. The top of these thumb-release boxes cleverly holds a pad of paper.



Setina introduced their new line of TPO Seat Guards at the PFE – Southwest. The TPO Seat Guard is a hard plastic shell that covers the existing rear seat. To maintain the maximum residual value, if the factory rear seats are removed for a bio seat, they need to be put back in the vehicle at end of life. Of course, you need to store those factory seats, protect them for four years, and get them back out of long-term storage. With the Setina TPO Seat Guard, you install it right over the existing seat during the upfit and remove it during decommission.

TPO (thermoplasticolefin) is a combination of a half-dozen reinforced plastic and rubber polymers that is higher in quality, tougher and more durable than the ABS plastic used in most police bio seats. In the crossovers and SUVs, a cage back is required with the Seat Guard. This can be a clear polycarbonate screen or a plastic-coated expanded metal. The Seat Guard is available for the Ford PI Sedan and Utility, Caprice PPV and Charger Pursuit. It is not available for the current Tahoe but will be for the 2015 NextGen Tahoe.

Setina also introduced a new rear cargo box for the PI Utility. The sliding tray has a 300-pound capacity. The installed cargo box leaves the spare tire fully accessible. A smaller, and also lockable, top box that fits over the cargo box is also available. Finally, Setina has introduced LED lights into their line of push bumpers. These can be either 2-LED or 4-LED units that function as emergency lights, wig-wags, take-downs or area lights. Factory installed by Setina is the choice of SoundOff Signal tri-color nForce™ LEDs or Whelen Engineering dual-color ION™ LEDs.



Westin introduced their Push Bumper Elite. Westin has 35 years in the business of front end protection. Their Push Bumper Elite uses heavy steel, no-drill brackets. The sides of the all-steel push bumper are pro-drilled to accept lights and siren speakers. The top light channel accommodates up to four LED emergency lights. The super-wide rubber push strips measure almost 3 inches wide.

The top cross bar is a channel that can be configured as a solid bar, a two LED light channel, or a four LED light channel. In addition to the top cross bar, the Push Bumper Elite has a lower upright connecting bar for additional protection and strength. The Push Bumper Elite is available for the Chevy Tahoe PPV, Impala 9C1 and Caprice PPV; the Dodge Charger Pursuit,


and RAM 1500; and the Ford PI Sedan, PI Utility, Expedition and F150.

CVPI Steering Column

NHSTA is conducting an engineering analysis of the 2005-2008 Ford CVPI for a potential steering issue. A connection between the upper and lower shafts of the steering column may fail, causing a separation. Of around 195,000 CVPIs in this timeframe, there have been 15 warranty claims or reports to NHTSA. At issue is a bearing walk (or movement) on the steering column shaft, which is easy to inspect for. If you see any of a green cylinder, the bearing has started to walk. The fix is to take the CVPI to the dealership for repairs.

Do not try to fix the problem with hose clamps, duct tape or metal fasteners. The steering column has a dual collapsibility threshold. Any “patches” done to “repair” the bearing walk will affect the crash-collapsible aspect of the steering wheel. The correct fix is a steering column replacement, an $1100 repair using replacement parts of the same design as the installed part.

A defect investigation by NHTSA is not a recall. After the engineering analysis by NHTSA, a vehicle may be recalled or the inquiry may be closed with no further action.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, May/Jun 2013

Rating : Not Yet Rated

Related Products



No Comments

Related Companies

Article Images

Click to enlarge images.

Close ...