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What do the newest squad cars offer?

During NAFA 2011, PoliceOne had the opportunity to test out many of the newest police patrol vehicles, and speak with each of the major manufacturers about their new squads

During NAFA 2011 earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend time with each of the “big three” automobile manufacturers — Chevy, Dodge, and Ford — offering new patrol vehicles to law enforcement this model year. With the help of the PoliceOne Video Team, I interviewed representatives from each company to get their take on what each vehicle brings to the table. In this column we present each of those three interviews, as well as an overview on issues related to vehicle fleet maintenance and management.

Have you had the opportunity to drive any of these new vehicles? If so, what did you think? Has your agency purchased any new vehicles despite the downturned economy? Have you had success in obtaining grant funding for your vehicle fleet? Check out these videos and add your comments below. Let your fellow officers know which new squad cars their departments should be seeking to add to the fleet, and share any best practices you might have as it relates to the acquisition, up-fitting, and maintenance of a top-quality fleet of police patrol vehicles.

NAFA Fleet Management Overview
Let's begin with a conversation I had with Claude Masters, Senior Vice President of NAFA, about a wide variety of issues related to vehicle fleet procurement, up-fitting, maintenance, and management. If you’re one of those guys or gals who just loves to tinker with your own automobile during your off time, and you’re giving some thought to what your career might look like after you pull the pin on patrol work, you may do well to become familiar with the folks at NAFA. Having spent a few days with these good people in April of this year, I can tell you that the organization is deeply committed to educating, training, and supporting its myriad members. Click here to learn more about NAFA.

NAFA 2011: Chevrolet Caprice
Here I speak with Dana Hammer, the manager for police vehicle operations at General Motors. Hammer highlights some of things he and his team believe set the Caprice apart from other vehicle options being considered by fleet managers today. For example, Hammer points out that it’s a rear-wheel drive vehicle with a V-8 engine — a reassuringly familiar setup for many law enforcers out there. Click here to learn more about the Chevy Caprice PPV.

NAFA 2011: Ford Interceptor
Here I speak with Tony Gratson, the national government sales manager for Ford Motor Company. Gratson and I discuss the new Ford Interceptors which the company hopes will continue to have the same level of police officer satisfaction as the beloved Crown Victoria, which officially went out of production a couple of months ago. Gratson says that the both sedan and SUV versions of the Interceptor will come with all-wheel drive and twin-independent-variable-cam-timing V-6 engines. Click here to learn about the Ford Interceptor.

NAFA 2011: Dodge Charger Pursuit
Here I speak with Sgt. David Callery of the New York State Police (ret.) who now works with Dodge Chrysler on police vehicle sales. Callery speaks about the new Dodge Charger Pursuit, which is based on the 2006-2010 vehicles which have become very popular with the agencies to have purchased them in recent years. Callery explains that the feedback he’s heard from officers out there includes very positive remarks about the car’s handling. Click here to learn about the Dodge Charger Pursuit.

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