Cops are using a wider variety of vehicles every year to satisfy specific niches in agencies. In keeping up with the expansion of the category "police vehicles," we've widened our annual roundup to cover some of these newer "mobile offices" as well as the newer models of old patrol classics. So look for snowmobiles as well as electric cars alongside traditional cruisers on the following pages. Maybe you'll find a few new niches to fill in your own agency.

Cars

The Chevy Impala is powered by a 200-horsepower V6 and offers great handling with its rack-and-pinion steering. The Impala also has standard features such as 16-inch wheels with bolt-on wheel covers and conveniences such as an electric rear-window defogger.

A 310-horsepower engine powers Chevy's Camaro. Features include 16-inch aluminum wheels and four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes.

The Chevy Suburban, with its powerful Vortec 5300 V8 SFI engine, also features power steering and a trailer capacity of 8300 lbs., as well as heated outside rearview mirrors with ground illumination and fog lamps.

The Chevy Tahoe is a two-wheel drive SUV with a 5.3L SPFI engine that
produces 285 horsepower at 5200 RPM. Its four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive and tow/haul mode makes it easy to handle in a variety of situations.

The Dodge Intrepid is powered by a  3.5-liter V-6 engine. The Intrepid features touring suspension, 16-inch touring tires and 4-wheel disc brakes. Its wider stance and longer wheelbase make taking curves easy.

The AM General Hummer runs on a V8 turbo-charged diesel engine with 430ft./lb. of torque at 1800 RPM. Four-wheel independent suspension and geared hubs allow for better handling in tough terrain. The Hummer also offers unique features to keep you on patrol. The runflat tire system allows you to drive up to 20 minutes at 30 mph with a flat tire, while a central tire inflation system lets you help prevent blowouts by adjusting tire pressure from the comfort of the driver's seat.

Ford's Interceptor has a standard V-8 engine and a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. Additions for comfort include standard power lumbar support and weapons cut-outs on front seats. New for 2002 are storage pockets in the front seats, new standard power heated mirrors and heavy duty rubber floor covering. The Interceptor is even available in Natural Gas Vehicle models. Several packages are also available, including a new wiring prep package, visibility package and a police prep package.

The Ford Excursion's 11,000 lb. maximum towing capacity and large cargo volume make it versatile, especially for cops in rough terrain. With the Excursion you have a choice of rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The 4x2 model offers a V8 engine, while the 4x4 offers a V10 engine.

Ford's 2002 Explorer is quieter, smoother, stronger, larger, wider, and has more available power than last year's model. It's also designed to be the safest Explorer yet. It offers a tighter turning radius, a larger fuel tank, larger door openings and lower step-in height. Its 2.5" wider stance and 2" longer wheelbase improve handling and roominess.

The Ford Expedition is available in 4x2 and 4x4 models, both of which seat up to 9 peopleand can tow about 7,000 lbs. The Expedition's Double 5-Star crash rating promises safety. Other safety features include heated mirrors and adjustable-height three-point front lap/shoulder safety belts. The Excursion is now available in a larger variety of comfort and performance packages, including the fleet special service vehicle package.

Personal Watercraft

Bombardier's Sea-Doo watercraft line includes the luxury edition Sea-Doo GTI LE.  This watercraft with towing capabilites comes standard with a fold-down reboarding step, footwell carpets, dual mirrors, ski-eye for towropes and a speedometer. The GTI LE seats three comfortably and comes standard with handgrips and foot rests. The Sea-Doo exclusive left-side forward/neutral/reverse lever is also standard and aids in picking up wakeboarders and skiers.

Kawasaki's brand new model, the Jet Ski 1200 STX-R, offers improved acceleration and better handling than previous models. Its hull has been lightened to improve acceleration, while racing-type sponsons combine with a new racing style pump cover to provide "grip" for more aggresssive turning and quicker planing. The hull also features the molded-in Kawasaki Splash Deflector (KSD) to help minimize spray on the rider. A variable-speed oil pump reduces oil consumption and exhaust smoke, increasing both power and efficiency.

Polaris PWCs include features such as PLANET (Polaris Low Acoustic Noise Reduction Exhaust Technology) that reduces engine noise by 60 percent without loss of power, MFI (Multi-Function Instrumentation) and PERC (Polaris Electric Reverse Control). The Virage i mid-size model for two-plus riders possesses all of these features, as well as a 100-horsepower twin engine with Polaris Direct Injection, dual mirrors, stainless steel tow hook and a 17-gallon fuel capacity.

Yamaha's newest PWC is the 140-horsepower, three-person Yamaha WaveRunner FX140, the world's first four-stroke personal watercraft. The WaveRunner FX140 has a high-performance, low emission four-stroke motor that exceeds all federal exhaust emission standards and is quiet for a high-performance motor. It also saves on fuel and maintenance costs.

Motorcycles

BMW's R 1150 GS-P-one of two new BMW motorcycles for 2002-comes standard with anti-lock brakes, 100-watt four-tone siren, a halogen headlight and an adjustable windshield, among other features. Its six-speed, four-valve, fuel-injected engine produces 85bhp and 71 ft./lb. of torque. Also included is standard programmable LED lighting that operates from a linked battery system which charges at idle.

While Harley-Davidson offers several police motorcycles, the FXDP Dyna Defender is still a favorite. Its twin cam 88 engine and torque provide power and handling for the freeway as well as backstreets, while a solo-sprung saddle covered with breathable material keeps your ride comfortable.

The Kawasaki Police 1000 has a durable, 998cc air-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that's specially tuned to deliver mid-range power and torque for optimum conditions in any traffic situation. The automatic cam chain tensioner and precise transistorized breakerless ignition help keep the bike low maintenance.

Boats

Yamaha's LX 2000 is Yamaha's newest boat. It features two high-performance Yamaha marine engines and its twin jet pumps under the hull ensure great hook-up in all water conditions. The hull is designed to deliver precise handling and exacting control. It may seem large at almost 20 feet long, but it was created with easy handling in mind, as well as reliability and low maintenance.

Zodiac sells three boats to the police market: the SRMN 500, 550 and 600. At more than 19 feet long and 8 feet wide, the SRMN 600 is the largest of these three inflatable boats. With a payload of 3,570 lbs. and the ability to carry 18 people, this boat can handle many tasks and carry all the necessary equipment. This Zodiac also has five separate compartments and four valves to ensure safety.

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Bicycles

Smith & Wesson's mountain bike division now offers the Custom FS model new for 2002, named for its durable oversize aluminum four-bar linkage FS frame. The bike uses air suspension technology and 27-speed drivetrain to provide a smooth ride even on tough terrain. This lightweight model also allows you to lock out the rear suspension to reduce loss of energy when pedaling and climbing.

Trek, a frame and wheel manufacturer, focuses its energy on the quality of these features on its police bike. The frame is hand built and undergoes a lengthy process to ensure the maximum strength to weight ratio. The wheels boast triple walled rims for ultimate strength and durability.

The ZAP tactical bicycle is equipped with rugged mountain bike components like RockShox suspension, 24-speed Shimano rapid-fire shifting and Avid SD25 V-Brakes. The tactical bike also uses the same motor system as ZAP's 20 MPH DX bicycle.

Heavy Duty

LDV creates command vehicles to fit each agency's specifications. The Fairfax County (Md.) PD owns a 39.5-foot vehicle that contains, among other features, two TVs and VCRs, a fax/copier, 11 radios, several laptops (some with GPS mapping software), a digital satellite system and two diesel 10kW generators. Air conditioning and lavatories are of course also included.

LENCO's BearCat is the company's newest vehicle. It is very secure, with vertical body panels built with 3/8" AR-500 ballistic steel and double-welded seams. In addition, the BearCat's angular body design increases ballistic resistance through deflection.

S.W.A.T.E.C.'s H.A.R.A.S. (Height Adjustable Rescue Assault System) uses wide, stable platforms and high traction stairways to ensure easy and safe access to almost any elevated conveyance or structure. Absolutely no tools are required to install or remove any or all components of the system.

ATVs

Kawasaki’s Prairie 650 is a new model, bigger and capable of hauling more with its V-twin four-stroke engine. It also offers a selectable four-wheel drive, electronically controlled engine braking and a sealed multi-disc rear braking system.

Polaris’ Sportsman 700 Twin features independent rear suspension, automatic Polaris Variable Transmission and MacPherson strut front suspension. All 2002 Polaris ATVs come standard with single-lever all-wheel hydraulic disc brakes and full floorboards, among other features.

Yamaha’s Big Bear 400 4x4, a mid-size ATV, has a Hi/Lo/Reverse Ultramatic automatic transmission, high-mounted radiator and powerful 401cc liquid-cooled engine. Its convenient push-button On-Command In/Out 4WD and speedometer and odometer make this model easy to use.

Snowmobiles

Bombardier’s Ski-Doo Legend snowmobile combines the aggressive performance of a cross-country sled with the comfort and refined features of a touring sled. The Legend SE package boasts a high performance, adjust on-the-fly electronic shock system that lets you choose how you want your sled to ride. It offers responsive acceleration, a solid stance and convenience features. All Legend models come loaded with electric start, Rotax Electronic Reverse, side mirrors and a visor outlet. Hand warmers, thumb warmers and a protective high windshield help keep you warm as you ride.

Among  Polaris’ most popular snowmobiles is the Trail Sport line, which  includes the Indy 500. This liquid-cooled snowmobile has Controlled Roll Center steering, the Polaris Sound Reduction Package, and the brake has a new braided steel brake line for 2002. Also new for 2002 are the hood closures that can be closed to prevent snow ingestion as well as a more easy-to-read speedometer.

Helicopters

Bell’s model 407 has a maximum cruise speed of 154 mph, a long range cruise speed of 136 mph, and a maximum endurance of 3.8 hours. Its standard internal useful load is 2,360 lbs., which leaves room for important equipment, including tactical radios, infrared/TV imaging systems and a rescue hoist.

Groen Brothers Aviation’s Hawk 4 Gyroplane has a range of 363 miles at its cruising speed of 132 mph at sea level and has a maximum speed of 148 mph. This gyroplane has a 2-blade system of 42-foot rotor blades. The aircraft seats four and has a useful load of 1,030 lbs.

Robinson Helicopter Company’s R-44 has a 130 mph cruise speed that gets air support officers where they need to be, fast. The helicopter’s hydraulic flight controls eliminate stick shake and control forces in flight. The helicopter is customizable with a long list of police equipment, which is custom installed to prevent drag.

Schweizer’s model 333 has a useful load of 1,300 lbs. with a typical cruising speed of 115 mph and a standard 73 gallon fuel capacity. It can operate at altitudes up to 13,000 feet, so mountain rescues are not a problem.

Electric

DaimlerChrysler’s GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) runs on six 12-volt batteries and has a range of 30 miles on an eight-hour, 110-volt charge. Both two- and four-passenger versions are available.

Ford’s Th!nk Neighbor electric car comes equipped with six deep cycle batteries, three-point seat belts and bucket seats. A fully enclosed model is also available, complete with a safety glass windshield, wipers and heating.

Kawasaki’s Mule 550  powered by a durable 286cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke industrial engine. It’s two-person bench seat has separate bottom and back cushions, hip restraints on each side and two seat belts. Options include a cab heater, cab covers and windshield with optional windshield wiper for wet weather.

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