Over the next three years, the Vancouver Police Department will take delivery of its new fleet of patrol cars. These vehicles usher in a new era for the Department, in which safety, fuel-efficiency, and greener operations take centre stage.
No doubt we’ve all come upon the scene of a car crash or serious incident defined by red and blue flashing lights. Often these scenarios require the police to leave their vehicles idling for long periods of time to ensure the emergency equipment doesn’t drain car batteries, effectively handcuffing officers when the next emergency call rolls in.
As leaders in the field of policing, and in support of their Code Green sustainability program, the Vancouver Police Department sought to minimize engine idling without compromising police operations and response readiness. This initiative was combined with the search for a more fuel-efficient vehicle than the traditional V8-powered Ford Police Interceptor. These goals, along with enhanced safety, coalesced in the selection of the V6-powered Dodge Charger police car equipped with an after-market Havis IdleRight idle-management program paired with an auto-start function and intrusion alarm.
The idle-management technology enables an officer to activate the vehicle’s full suite of emergency equipment at a serious incident without leaving the engine idling. The Havis IdleRight system monitors the battery’s state of charge and triggers the auto-start function when it dips below a pre-established threshold. The engine will then run for a short period of time to refresh the battery. This cycle repeats itself as necessary until the officer reconnects the key with the car. Never will the officer be stranded with a dead battery. While it’s running, the vehicle is protected by a series of security safeguards to prevent theft and tampering.
Initial analysis of fuel-economy indicates that a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption is achievable with the new Charger patrol vehicle equipped with the idle-management program over the consumption level of the existing police fleet.
In addition to less fossil-based fuel consumption and greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the new generation of patrol car is a much safer vehicle for officers and the public. While great improvements in occupant protection have emerged over the years, the new fleet of Vancouver police cars take the issue of “safety for all” to new heights with the installation of a cutting-edge light-bar and a low-frequency secondary siren system.
Flashing brilliantly atop the new patrol cars is the Valor light bar manufactured by Federal Signal. This somewhat Star Wars looking asset incorporates a non-linear design dominated by a triangular forward-pointing protrusion that emits far better 360-degree illumination from its bright LED technology than a convention light-bar. The result is superior visibility from all angles, and in particular for traffic approaching at 90-degrees in busy intersections.
Not only is this new car far more visible to the public during an emergency, it’s louder as well, thanks to its low-frequency secondary siren system. The low-frequency siren emits sound waves capable of penetrating solid materials, enabling drivers and pedestrians to feel the sound in addition to hearing it. This technology has proven highly effective in dense urban areas where competing noises and various barriers to sound, such as the modern car, may suppress the effectiveness of a conventional siren.
Migration to the new patrol car also provided an opportunity for the Vancouver Police Department to adopt a new, fresh appearance that draws its inspiration from the popular black and white theme while remaining unique and distinctive to Vancouver.
The new graphics were designed in-house by the Department’s own graphic designer, and selected by the men and women of the Vancouver Police Department from a series of five prototypes. The new look takes advantage of the scalloped front door of the Charger, filling it with a white-to-black gradient flowing from the front door to the rear door. Lettering is bordered in gold, which is drawn from the gold wreath surrounding the Department’s crest.
An Aboriginal-designed thunderbird sweeps over the arch of the front fenders, also incorporating the white-to-black transition featured on the doors. The thunderbird is a custom creation by the world-renowned Aboriginal artist Susan Point who generously donated it to the Vancouver Police Department. The thunderbird in native lore means the protector, and the Department proudly display it as a salute to the people who were here first, and as an icon of the Pacific Northwest.
The Vancouver Police Department’s motto of “Beyond the Call” is delivered across the trunk lid, completing the look of the new car while tying it into the previous generation Vancouver Police patrol car.
Within three years, the entire Vancouver Police Department fleet of marked patrol vehicles is expected to be renewed, projecting the pride of the men and women serving the diverse communities of Vancouver and its ethnically-rich population.
Source: Vancouver Police | Image: walneylad via Flickr Vancouver Police Dodge Charger