FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Carrick Cook

Carrick Cook

Officer Carrick R. Cook is the Public Information Officer for the Arizona Department of Public Safety and a former motor officer with that agency.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.


Las Vegas Chooses Ford P.I. Utility for Patrol

The agency will roll out its first Ford P.I. Utility units in June.

February 22, 2013  |  by Adam Ogden

Photo: Brandon Qualls
Photo: Brandon Qualls

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department chose Ford's Police Interceptor Utility as its new standard patrol vehicle, after more than two years of research, testing, evaluation, and feedback. The process began shortly after Ford announced it would halt production of the Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor (CVPI), Fleet Manager Daren Turner told POLICE Magazine.

"From preliminary planning to actually receiving the test vehicles took about six months to a year," Turner said. "After we received the vehicles, it took at least an additional year to complete our evaluation and develop a conclusion."

The department tested patrol vehicles from each of the Detroit 3, including Ford's Police Interceptor sedan and utility, Chrysler's Dodge Charger Pursuit, and General Motors' Chevy Caprice PPV and Tahoe SUV. The Chevy Impala wasn't evaluated.

"All of the vehicles were an improvement from the current CVPIs," Turner added. "However, when we received feedback from EVOC, as well as the officers who tested the vehicles, the answer was clear. This vehicle had the best handling and the best technology available of any of the competitors."

The LVMPD EVOC unit put the contenders through their paces, testing how they handled in the desert heat, urban Las Vegas Strip, and rural areas such as Red Rock Canyon and Mt. Charleston.

"Officer safety drove the decision more than anything," said Turner. "We wanted a vehicle with anti-lock brakes and stability control that was pursuit rated."

The agency expects to roll out their first batch (45 marked units) of Ford P.I. Utility vehicles in June and fully replace CVPIs within six years. Turners' fleet management unit must first add emergency equipment to the new vehicles. The evolution of technology with the new era of vehicles will smooth this process, said Dan Jackson, fleet operations supervisor.

"When we initially rolled out the CVPIs, everything was still incandescent or strobe lights," Jackson said. "With newer LEDs, it gives you the ability to add more lights with less power." LVMPD will use Federal Signal's Vision SLR lightbar paired with emergency lighting mounted in the push bumper. Additional technical advances could include in-car video systems and back-up sensors. Very little of the equipment from the Ford CVPI's will be added to the new vehicles.

The agency initially didn't evaluate the Ford P.I. Utility or Chevy Tahoe but said they were eventually determined to be a "much better vehicle for our needs," Jackson added. Officers needed the extra payload for their gear.

"We had an issue fitting all of the equipment in the trunk of some of the sedans," Turner said. "In others, the back seat was cramped for a man who is 5 feet 6 inches. Anyone over 6 feet tall would need to be transported in a van."

The agency's 2,194 officers will receive training on the P.I. Utility when they retake the EVOC course, Turner said.

"Handling characteristics are a lot different than the CVPI," Turner said. "Visibility has changed greatly; you're sitting much higher now. Combine that with the change to all-wheel drive and quicker acceleration than the Crown Vic and you have quite a different driving platform."

The economics of the vehicle also helped the agency gain approval. The P.I. Utility is nearly the same price as the Ford P.I. sedan, and the agency expects to get 25,000 additional miles out of each unit. Resale value is also expected to be greater than CVPIs, Turner said.

The LVMPD's fleet committee spearheaded the process that also involved three area commands, which evaluated each vehicle for nearly a month and provided feedback to the committee. The agency's fleet unit manages about 1,800 vehicles, including 650 marked units.

Adam Ogden is a freelance writer based in Nevada.

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine