Ford’s Police Interceptor Sedan is the spiritual successor to the extremely popular and well-respected Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, so it has big wheels to fill. Fortunately, it does so impressively, with a safe, versatile design that is also cost effective. It is pursuit rated and can fill most roles in a fleet, including patrol, high speed response and CID roles. It has only been in production for a handful of years, but is already a favorite in both the U.S. and Canada. And with some smart upfitting, it can serve and protect both the public and its officer.
The Police Interceptor Sedan is a true patrol and pursuit vehicle, so it must be upfitted for the task. That means maximum visibility and maximum safety, along with additional tools that can prevent or cut short a pursuit. The current Interceptor model is available with a 3.7L V6 engine or the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, which cranks up the fuel efficiency and power. All-wheel drive is standard, for those times where the Interceptor has to navigate slightly tougher terrain.
An interesting note – in 2019, the Police Interceptor Sedan will be the first pursuit rated police car in history, and that’s more than just a fascinating footnote. With a lithium-ion battery onboard, the Interceptor’s engine can power its electrical load without the need to idle the engine as much. It’s only revved up occasionally to top the battery off. That comes out to almost 1,000 gallons of fuel saved every year.
Back to the here and now, though. There are many ways fleet managers can upfit their Interceptor Sedans, though the priorities should be visibility and safety. That kind of upfit looks something like this:
1. Lighting – No patrol vehicle is ready without the proper lighting. It starts with the lightbar, and there are many, many options here. D&R Electronics and Tomar are two reputable lighting manufacturers, and the former has an interesting take on the standard lightbar. Its Odyssey lightbar does more than just flash, it also comes with a folding panel that, when activated, unfolds and directs traffic with light up arrows.
Tomar offers several lightbar models as well, including its Scorpion. The Scorpion, like most current generation lightbars, combines LED lamps, programmable software and an angled design that makes for a highly visible and highly functional piece of technology.
Tomar also develops traffic preemption sensors, which allow officers to pass through intersections more quickly when needed.
2. Partitions and window guards – Prisoner and cargo partitions enhance the Interceptor’s capabilities, and they are mostly standardized so that they can fit into sedans with little trouble. Window guards, too, are mandatory in any Interceptor that is going to transport a prisoner. Most manufacturers that build one also build the other, and a highly respected manufacturer that does both is Setina.
Setina allows fleet managers to customize their partitions to a great extent. Options include horizontal or vertical sliding windows, stationary windows with or without metal mesh, partitions that offer extra legroom and single prisoner partitions. With a single prisoner partition, the Interceptor can use the extra space as cargo room or a mounting spot for firearms.
Setina also produces door and window guards, reinforcing their structure and preventing any chance of a kick out. Setina’s door and window guards are unusual, in a good way, in that they fit over the door instead of necessitating the door’s removal. That makes installation a lot easier and helps maintain the vehicle’s aesthetics. All guards are made from a TPO polymer that beats NHTSA regulations by a fair margin.
3. Vehicle armor – Police vehicles are already designed to be more durable and more protective than civilian models, but extra armor can mean the difference between life and death. Armored inserts placed inside the car door transform that door into a shield, giving the officer extra protections and safe cover as soon as they exit the vehicle.
Angel Armor is the best known name in police vehicle armor, and its best-selling product is the AVAIL IIIA. The AVAIL IIIA provides IIIA level protection against ballistics, which translates into protection against 9mm and .44 magnum caliber firearms. The AVAIL IIIA takes about 10 minutes to install and no fasteners or penetration is required during installation. It merely has to be dropped in, and because it weighs less than 10 pounds, it will not affect the vehicle’s performance.
4. The Stop Stick – Interceptor Sedans find themselves in high-speed pursuits with some frequency, so it would be best if those pursuits could be ended quickly and safely, or stopped even before they begin.
Enter the Stop Stick. The Stop Stick is a tire deflation device that is designed to be safe to handle and easy to deploy. It has ended more than 20,000 pursuits safely and is carried by more than 200,000 police vehicles. The Stop Stick is built with a plastic housing, which contains multi-directional spikes. Deploying it is as easy as throwing it into the road while holding onto a cord attached to the device. The officer never has to get close to the road, and it’s effective against everything other than a tank.
Stop Stick is also available in a few smaller sizes, for placement during a traffic stops or prior to responding to a domestic disturbance.
The Police Interceptor Sedan is one of the most common police vehicles on the road, and for good reason. Its potential for upfitting is matched by few other vehicles, so it can be built for any job, any environment and any officer.