interceptor

First Responders at the New York International Auto Show

Ever go to the New York Auto Show and wonder where all those police cars on the lower level come from? They come from the New York City Police Museum.

Incorporated in 1998, The New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the New York City Police Department, the world’s largest and most famous police service. Every year, they have a spectacular display of the police cars of New York City, from the 1930s to present day.

1958 Ford Custom 300 with factory 292i V8 (4.8L) and 3 speed automatic. Emergency equipment includes a Federal signal Model 17 light, Federal Signal Model 28 siren, Stewart Warner Police Special Speedometer and Motorola Twin V Police Radio.

1974 Plymouth Satellite Custom with factory 318i V8 (5.2L) and 3 speed automatic. The NYPD switched from the larger Plymouth Fury to the smaller Plymouth Satellite due to the gasoline crisis. Each car was $3,767. Precinct numbers were added to the sides of the cars in 1978. Includes a Signal Stat #9555 light bar, Signal Stat VI Siren & Control Center, Stewart Warner Police Special speedometer and Motorola T-Power Radio

1989 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 Police Package with Federal Signal Aerodynamic 24H lighter and Federal Signal PA-300 radio. This car is built in tribute to P.O. Edward Byrne.

2016 Smart Car, with 89 horsepower and CVT transmission. NYPD installed options include NYPD specialized LED lighting and message board with 72 different programmed messages and a VIT fuel management system.

2016 Ford NGPI Utility, comes with 304 horsepower and al-wheel-drive with police tuned suspension, heavy duty wheels and brakes, NYPD specialized LED lighting, Rumbler siren, front push bumper, ballistic door and window panels, computer tablet with keyboard and printer, priority start (battery rundown protection), skid plate, AVL (automatic vehicle locator). It also has a park kill module, which turns the sirens off when the vehicle is placed in park, and a run on module, which allows the vehicle to run when the ignition key is removed but turns the car off when the brake is pressed so the car can’t be stolen.

1961 Plymouth Savoy from “Car 54, Where are You?”, with factory 318i V8 (5.2L) and 3 speed automatic, and Motorola Twin V radio, Stewart Warner Police Speedometer, Federal Signal Model 28 Siren and Federal Signal Model 17 light. Each car cost $2,694 in 1961.

Ford opens doors for law enforcement

Ford has always been a staple in law enforcement vehicle history – going all the way back to 1919 when departments used Model T police trucks. Then, came the infamous Crown Victoria era in the early 90s and late 2000s. Now, we have the new Explorers and Tauruses we see most departments using on the roads today.

Ford is taking their dedication to law enforcement one step further, and will now be offering doors that protect against armor-piercing bullets. Since 2008, they’ve offered factory-installed ballistic panels on their police car doors, but they only protect against handgun fire and non-armor piercing bullets. Only about 5 to 10 percent of police vehicles sold by Ford have the optional ballistic protection, which costs about $1,500 per door.

Controlling 60 percent of the US police vehicle market in 2015, Ford will be the first in the US to meet the Justice Department’s highest standard for body armor, which is the equivalent of a bulky SWAT team vest.

The ballistic panels, which cover the majority of the door, have two layers. The first layer is made from ballistic-grade ceramic tile, which disperses the energy and starts to break the bullet into pieces on impact. The inner layer is made from aramid fiber, which is the same material used for Kevlar, and catches the shrapnel from the bullet.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations said that “any kind of protection that can be added into the vehicles that officers are driving in is a great idea”, since officers are frequently targeted when they are in their patrol cars.

Unavailable to the public, the doors are destroyed when police cars are scrapped so they don’t wind up in the bad guys’ hands.

Engineering the doors proved to be a challenge since the added weight of the ballistic protection had to be supported by the hinges of the door, though they made it happen. Ford will continue to offer both non-armor piercing and armor-piercing protection doors for departments with different needs. Pricing for upgraded protection has not been announced.

Photo Credit: Ford