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Back to Archives | Back to July 2013 Contents 

Product Feature: Transportation

By Scott Harris, Freelance Writer


Note: Police Chief magazine, from time-to-time, offers feature-length articles on products and services that are useful to law enforcement administrators. This article features transportation.
From simple tweaks to major reinventions, transportation is evolving. Transportation for the law enforcement and public safety communities is no exception. New vehicle designs and features are helping to keep officers safer on the road and in the field and addressing more universal needs like better fuel economy.

“There’s a lot more technology,” said Steve Contarino, vice president at Adamson Industries, a Massachusetts company dedicated to public safety vehicle installation and design. “As times change, the different missions of law enforcement change. We have vehicles now that can keep officers safer than we ever could before. There are safer structures in the vehicles themselves. We’re working toward using those technologies.”1

Many transportation advancements focus first and foremost on improving the safety of an officer’s day-to-day life. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 40 officers lost their lives in 2012 as a result of auto crashes or being struck by a vehicle.2 These two categories account for more officer deaths than any other, including shootings.

With this statistic in mind, it should come as no surprise that officers are concerned about their safety while on the roadside. According to a recent online survey of law enforcement officers conducted by MPH Industries, a Kentucky business providing radar, signage, and similar products for the public safety sector, approximately 80 percent of respondents indicated they were “very concerned” about safety on the road outside their vehicle.

“We constantly hear how officers are worried when they’re out on the roadside doing traffic stops,” said John Broxon, the international sales manager of MPH Industries. “Officers are getting injured or even dying on the roadside. They’re being clipped by mirrors. It’s astounding.”3

Several products are available to help officers increase awareness of their surroundings in a traffic-stop situation. This allows officers to keep their focus on the subject of the stop, while worrying less about on oncoming vehicles.

“They don’t know what they’re walking up on,” Broxon said. “They have to not pay attention to the road, and this helps fill that gap.”

To keep officers safe during traffic stops, MPH created SafetyZone, an officer safety alert mechanism that activates an audible warning to alert officers to high-speed vehicles approaching from behind their patrol vehicle while the officer is standing on or near the roadway. SafetyZone is part of Ranger EZ, MPH’s ranging directional traffic radar.

“With this we can help them set up a zone of protection,” Broxon said. “We can set the alert distance to something that makes sense. It also doesn’t get contaminated with false alarms.”

Another example is a new light array system that travels the length of the vehicle. Masterminded by Adamson Industries, the array improves the visibility of the vehicle and serves as “a warning to the public that it needs to slow down,” Contarino said. Lights around the license plate can also prevent rear-end collisions, Contarino added.

Companies like OnStar and Illinois-based MacNeil Automotive Products also offer products and services designed to make transportation safer.

Seemingly simple structural adjustments can make a big difference in the functionality of the vehicle.

“We’re creating doors that open wider to help officers and any prisoners get in and out more easily,” Contarino said. “We have seats that have weapons cut-outs. And new frames are better protected
from side impact.”

“New innovations for weapons storage is a much-desired feature for transportation these days,” Contarino said. Adamson has created a weapons box for police vehicles, which can be opened
remotely using a key fob.

“After the tragedy in Connecticut, many agencies are wanting to add extra weapons to their vehicles,” Contarino said. “The key fob weapons box is a new way to secure weapons.”

Of course, law enforcement and public safety agencies wrestle with the same challenges—if on a far larger scale—than any vehicle owner. With gas prices on the rise, fuel efficiency is becoming a
larger concern. Some companies and law enforcement departments are employing a range of strategies to address the issue.

In New York City, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is phasing in hybrid vehicles. According to Robert S. Martinez, executive director of the NYPD Support Services Bureau, the NYPD now has 1,000 hybrid vehicles in its 8,300-vehicle fleet, with plans to increase that percentage in the coming months and years. The increase makes sense when considering the move saved the department $1 million in fuel costs in 2011.

“The vehicles operate like any other. The driver can’t even tell the difference,” Martinez said. “They’re happy to have a car that’s reliable and runs well. It’s quieter, there’s less fatigue on the driver, and they’re not breathing diesel fumes all day.”4

Though Martinez indicated Ford and Chevy both have plans to release a full-fledged hybrid police cruiser in the future, for the moment the hybrid fleet is confined to administrative vehicles, traffic enforcement cars, and electric scooters. Hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, GMC Yukon, and Nissan Altima, as well as the hybrid Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius, all are included in the fleet, Martinez said.

In addition to the fuel savings, Martinez said the maintenance needs for a hybrid are about half that of their traditional counterparts. In some situations, the quieter electric engines can even provide officers with a strategic advantage.

“A cop on a scooter in Central Park can just come up on somebody breaking the law, and the person doesn’t even know they’re there,” Martinez said.

There are other ways to improve fuel economy that are tailored to the unique circumstances and demands of law enforcement. Adamson Industries’ solution is a tool that automatically turns the car on and off in idling situations.

“If a vehicle is sitting on the side of the road and gets too hot it would start on its own to keep the officer cool or warm,” Contarino said. “And it will shut off in idle situations. It’s surprising how much fuel is used sitting idle.”

According to Contarino, police vehicles equipped with this tool save an average of six gallons of fuel during an eight-hour period.

“At $4 a gallon,” Contarino said. “That’s pretty significant.”♦

Notes:
1Steve Contarino, phone interview with the author, April 18, 2013.
2“Causes of Law Enforcement Deaths,” National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/causes.html (accessed April 30, 2013).
3John Broxon, phone interview with the author, April 19, 2013.
4Robert S. Martinez, phone interview with the author, April 24, 2013.


Product Feature Source Listing for Transportation
308 Systems Inc.
www.308systems.com
3A Medical USA
aaLobo@aol.com
3SI Security Systems
www.3sisecurity.com
Adamson Industries Corp.
www.adamsonindustries.com
Advanced Public Safety Inc.
www.aps.us
AEDEC Intl Inc.
aedec@comcast.net
Aerovironment Inc.
www.avinc.com
Affinia
http://affiniagroup.affiniagroup.com
American Custom Coach
http://www.americancc.com
American Defense Systems Inc.
www.adsiarmor.com
American Honda Motor Co Inc.
www.powersports.honda.com
AOI Electrical
www.aoielectrical.com
Apollo Video Technology
www.apollovideo.com
Armor Intl.
www.armorinternational.com
Armored Solutions Inc.
www.armoredsolutions.com
Aurora Flight Sciences
www.aurora.aero
Autoliv Inc.
www.noptic.com
Barb's Harley Davidson
www.barbshd.com
BatteryJack Inc.
www.batteryjackdealer.com
Beechcraft
www.beechcraft.com
Bell Helicopter Textron
www.bellhelicopter.com
Big Sky Racks Inc.
www.bigskyracks.com
Brannen Motor Co.
www.brannenemergencyvehicles.com
Brooking Industries
www.brookingindustries.com
Brunswick Commercial
& Govt Products

www.brunswickcgp.com
Carson Mfg. Co. Inc.
www.carsonsirens.com
Catalyst Communications Technologies Inc.
www.catcomtec.com
Chrysler Group LLC
www.fleet.chrysler.com
Clarity Aerial Sensing
www.claritysensing.com
Coban Technologies Inc.
www.cobantech.com
Copsync Inc.
www.vidtac.com
Creative Fleet Markings
www.creativefleetmarkings.com
Crime Point
www.crimepoint.net
Crown North America/
Div. of Leggett &
Platt CVP Group

www.crown-na.com
CURT Manufacturing
www.curtmfg.com
Cyalume
www.cyalume.com
Data911
www.data911.com
Datalux Mobile Computers
www.datalux.com
David Clark Co. Inc.
www.davidclark.com
Digital Ally
www.digitalallyinc.com
Dispatch & Tracking Solutions
www.dtsdispatch.com
Dodgen Industries Inc.
www.dodgenmobiletech.com
Duratech USA Inc.
www.duratechusa.com
EarthCam Inc.
Electronic Tracking Systems
www.etstracking.com
Elite K-9 Inc.
www.elitek9.com
Emergency Vehicles Inc.
www.evi-fl.com
Energy Xtreme
www.energyxtreme.net
Enstrom Helicopter Corp.
www.enstromhelicopter.com
E-Seek Inc.
www.e-seek.com">www.e-seek.com
Extendo Bed Co. Inc.
www.extendobed.com
E-Z UP Intl. Inc.
www.ezup.com
First Line Technology LLC
www.firstlinetech.com
Force 911
www.force911.com
Ford Motor Co.
www.fleet.ford.com
Frontline Communications
www.frontlinecomm.com
FSI North America
www.fsinorth.com
GATSO
www.gatso-usa.com
General Dynamics C4 Systems
www.gdc4s.com/firstresponders
General Motors Fleet & Commercial Operations
www.gmfleet.com
Genetec
www.genetec.com
Go Rhino! Public Safety
www.gorhinopd.com
GOST by Paradox Marine
http://gostglobal.com/
Graphic Designs Intl. Inc.
www.graphicdesignsinternational.com
Guardian Aircraft Co, LLC
www.guardianaircraft.aero
Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
www.harley-davidson.com
Havis Inc.
www.havis.com
ICOP/ a Safety Vision Co.
www.icop.com
Image Sensing Systems Europe
www.imagesensing.com
Image Sensing Systems Inc.
www.imagesensing.com
Integrated Microwave Tech
www.imt-government.com
Intelligence Support Group
www.isghq.com
International Armored Group
www.interarmored.com
Intl. Surveillance Technology Inc.
www.teamist.net
ISI Services Corp.
www.isiservicescorp.com
Juluen Enterprise Co. Ltd.
www.juluen.com.tw
Kaldor Emergency Lights LLC
www.kaldoremergency.com
Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA
www.kawasaki.com
Kussmaul Electronics Co. Inc.
http:///kussmaul.com
Kustom Signals Inc.
www.kustomsignals.com
L-3 Mobile-Vision Inc.
www.L-3com.com/mv
Larson Electronics LLC
www.larsonelectronics.com
LDV Inc.
www.ldvusa.com
Lenco Armored Vehicles
www.lencoarmor.com
LENSEC-VIDEO Management Solutions
www.lensec.com
LEVA
www.leva.org
Life Safety Systems Inc.
LiveViewGPS Inc.
www.liveviewgps.com
L-Tron Corp.
www.l-tron.com
Lund Industries Inc.
www.lund-industries.com
MacNeil Automotive
www.weathertech.com
Matthews Specialty Vehicles Inc.
www.msvehicles.com
MediaSolv Solutions Corp.
www.mediasolvcorp.com
MetalCraft Marine Inc.
www.metalcraftmarine.com
MITI Mfg. Co. Inc.
www.mitico.com
MNSTAR Technologies Inc.
www.mnstar.com
Mobile Concepts by Scotty
www.mobileconcepts.com
Mobile Mark
www.mobilemark.com
MPH Industries Inc.
www.mphindustries.com
Myers Enterprises Inc/Stun-Cuff
www.stun-cuff.com
NELMAR Security Packaging
Systems Inc.

www.nelmar.com
Northeast Kustom Kreations LLC
www.nekk.com
NuShield Inc.
www.nushield.com
OBS Inc. Specialty Vehicles
www.obsinc.net
Odyssey Specialty Vehicles
www.odysseyauto.com
OEM Micro Solutions Inc.
www.oemmicro.com
Old West Graphics Inc.
OnSSI
www.onssi.com
OnStar
www.onstar.com/publicsafety
Oregon Aero Inc.
www.oregonaero.com
Oshkosh Defense
www.oshkosh-tacticalprotector.com
Pannin Technologies LLC
www.pannin.com
Panorama Antennas Inc.
www.panorama-antennas.com
Patriot3 Inc.
www.patriot3.com
PCO Policecars Orlando
www.policecarsorlando.com
Pilatus Business Aircraft
www.pc12spectre.com
PoliceBikeStore.com
www.policebikestore.com
Portman Security
www.portmansecurity.com
Powermoon Portable Lighting
www.powermoon.com
PriorityStart! (BLI)
www.prioritystart.com
Pro-Gard Products LLC
www.pro-gard.com
Radar Shop Inc., The
www.radarservice.com
RAM Mounting Systems
www.rammount.com
Rapid Access Tool/ Nathan Group LLC
www.rapidaccesstool.com
Raybestos Brake and Chassis
www.raybestos.com
Ribcraft
www.ribcraftusa.com
RideOut Bicycle Seats
www.comfortbikeseats.com
Rontan Signals
www.rontan.com
RunCool Hood Louvers
www.hoodlouvers.com
SAFE Boats Intl.
Satare
www.satare.co.uk
Schuberth
www.schuberthnorthamerica.com
SeaArk Marine Inc.
www.seaark.com
Segway Inc.
www.segway.com/patrol
Setcom
www.setcomcorp.com
Setina Mfg Co. Inc.
www.setina.com
Signal 88 Security
www.signal88.com
Silent Drive Inc.
www.silentdrive.com
Sirche Vehicle Div.
www.sirchievehicles.com
Slide Lock Tool Co.
www.z-tool.com
SnowTireChains
www.snow-tire-chains.com
SoundOff Signal
www.soundoffsignal.com
Specialty Vehicle Solutions
www.vehiclesolutionsnow.com
Spectratek
http://sptk.com
Squad Fitters Inc.
http://squadfitters.com
Steck Mfg. Co.
www.steckmfg.com
SVI Trucks
www.svitrucks.com
Track Star Intl. Inc.
Trackstick
www.trackstick.com
Transport Security Expo-Niche Events
www.transec.com
Victory Police Motorcycles
www.victorypolicemotorcycles.com
Videx Inc.
www.cyberlock.com
Viewpoint Command Systems
www.vpcmdsys.com
Viper
vipersales@vipercamera.com
WatchGuard Video
www.watchguardvideo.com
Whelen Engineerng Co. Inc.
www.whelen.com
Zero Motorcycles
www.zeromotorcycles.com
Zodiac of North America Inc.
www.zodiacmilpro.com
 
 

Please cite as:

Scott Harris, "Transportation," Product Feature, The Police Chief 80 (July 2013): 56–58.

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From The Police Chief, vol. 80, no. 7, July 2013. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.








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