The Dodge Charger Pursuit is a top choice among fleet managers when they need a patrol and pursuit vehicle. When configured properly, it is nearly impossible to elude. The Charger has always been a favorite for civilian use, but its excellent acceleration and speed, intimidating appearance and upfitting potential also make it perfect for law enforcement use. As a primary patrol vehicle, the Charger has a lot of room to grow when in the hands of a capable upfitter, enhancing its presence, improving efficiency or making the Charger easier to work in.
The base Charger Pursuit is a monster already, especially when it is fitted with Dodge’s 5.7L HEMI V8. The V8 engine infuses the Charger with 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque, so it’s quick off the blocks. It is also available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, depending on where the Charger is deployed. And like most police vehicles, the Charger is built with a steel safety frame and can be fitted with ballistic door panels for a high degree of safety.
As a premier pursuit vehicle, the Charger can be configured in a myriad of ways, depending on what exactly an officer needs to get out of the vehicle. Some of the most important and most effective upfitting solutions include:
1. Vehicle Lighting – You can’t have a patrol vehicle without lighting, and it’s not a good idea to skimp in this area. Maximum visibility (and audibility, through the use of a siren) get other motorists out of the way and bring order to dangerous traffic conditions.
Modern fleets make extensive use of lighting, mounting it to bumpers, mirrors and to the vehicle doors, as well as inside the vehicle. The focal point of police vehicle lighting, though, is the lightbar. There are many lightbar options on the market, as any lighting manufacturer operating in the police and emergency sectors will have something to offer.
Among lighting manufacturers, Feniex is one of the best, and its Fusion lightbar is its flagship product. The Fusion produces 360-degrees of unobstructed lighting and can emit in a 180-degree or 40-degree pattern per module. It is available in a single or dual color mode, and offers up to 48 flash patterns (when configured for dual color). And like any modern lightbar, it can be cycled through several modes depending on the situation. Those modes include rear directional, cruise mode, takedown, alley, tail, turn and flood. With so many options, the Fusion can match the needed role at any time.
2. Computer mount – A reliable and ergonomic computer mount is a must in modern patrol vehicles, as police must access database after database while on shift. Laptop and table mounts come in many designs, with some only taking up a portion of the dash while others are suspended over the passenger seat. It depends on what kind of laptop or tablet model is in use by the fleet, and whether or not the Charger will be expected to seat a pair of officers at a time, or just one.
Regardless, a top manufacturer for laptop mounting solutions is Jotto Desk. Jotto Desk’s most capable Charger mount is the HD A-MOD, which mixes usability and ruggedness into a single package. The HD A-MOD is designed to mount to OEM mounting locations and is made from high strength aluminum, steel and composite materials to strike that fine balance between durability and weight. The base and stand tube are both made from high gauge steel, as are the clamps that hold the laptop in place. It is finished with a swing arm, swivel plate and height adjustment lever that means the officer can use the HD A-MOD in nearly any position. It’s the perfect option for Chargers that have to brave rough streets and tough terrain.
3. Power management solutions – As a patrol vehicle, the Charger is often left in a position where it needs to operate its electronics while the officer is busy with another task. This means putting the vehicle in idle mode, and that means risking the Charger’s battery.
A few manufacturers have fashioned additions to the Charger engine to help mitigate the deleterious effects on battery life, and ensure the vehicle does not die while the officer is away. Some of those manufacturers include AC/DC Electronics and Havis.
Havis offers an auto shut-off timer and idle management technology. The auto shut-off timer, dubbed the ChargeGuard, automatically shuts off mobile equipment after a certain amount of time has passed, which can be configured by the officer. Havis’ IdleRight technology monitors the battery’s condition while the vehicle is in park, and only allows the engine to idle when the battery needs it. This can help a fleet secure some major savings on fuel and engine maintenance.
4. Consoles – And, of course, there needs to be a platform where those equipment controls can go. Consoles manufactured by Troy Products are popular for fleets running Chargers, and they come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. They are built with steel, finished with a black powder coating and feature adjustable mounting spots so they can be fitted snugly into the Charger’s center dash.
The Charger is a beast no criminal wants to see, but little do those criminals know that what makes the Charger a true nightmare is what’s inside. With complete upfitting, the Charger can respond to and overmatch anything it faces on the road.