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Patrol vehicles, what do you get to drive?

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  • bpdblue
    replied
    I agree with SecTrainer that the vehicle issued for security needs depends on the ACTUAL needs of the company (which does basically eliminate the need for a vehicle needed for pursuits and high speeds. If your need includes the pursuit or high speed qualities of a veh, please detail that need, and the lawfulness of doing it in your area.)

    Now to say you need the qualities of a police pursuit package because it has a better suspension, braking, cooling, transmission, ect, could have merits for you specific applications, but for general security use, the extra costs to buy, maintain, repair, ect, takes away profit from the company, and I'll be the first one to admit that I'd rather have any extra money in my pocket (as in a pay raise).

    As long as a veh is maintained well, (like frequent oil changes, tire pressure checked, maintaining all fluids, belts and hoses) most cars and trucks these days would do a fine job for average security patrol work.

    You could have the same arguments here about which motocycles are best for security work (harley-davidson, kawasaki, BMW, ect), or what kind of bicycles are best, or which flash lights, guns, ammo, underwear, are the best, or, well maybe I've gone a little too far here.

    But my point is, if you can show you REALLY need it for your specific application, get that totally tricked out police cruiser, in Ferrari RED, and it's all good.

    But, for everyday security needs, a good quality, well maintained vehicle, that has enough room in it for the passengers it will carry, and any equipment needed for you likely use, designed for the area your in (possibly a 4X4 in dirt terrain, ect), and your needs for working have been met, at the most reasonable over all costs to your company.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    Senior Member

  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    I'm not sure about the Minneapolis area, but in the SE Wisconsin market, if you're not driving "American," the locals simply won't like you. Its part of the pro-union mentality of the area. Is it bad? Of course not, there's a freaking Chrysler plant in Kenosha. The local UAW hall was massive.

    Does this mean people care all over America? No, it doesn't. But in some markets, you had best be driving what people consider to be appropriate. Hell, the Sheriff's Department only switched to Ford when the AMC/Jeep plant was retooled to Chrysler. They drove Jeeps.

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  • SecTrainer
    Senior Member

  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Andy Taylor View Post
    I do know that a few years ago the CHP got a few Volvos for a year for testing. I don't remember witch model. They stayed with the CVPIs. Just an observation.
    As I understand it, this choice wasn't due to performance issues. CHP wanted Volvo sedans and would have looked at Volvo's bid very seriously except that in that year Volvo was phasing out their sedans and only had wagons to offer.

    And, the CVPI was actually not their first choice, either, but there was something happening with the Caprice at the time - might have been production problems or changes to the Caprice. I'm not sure what.

    Now, of course, the story is different and Volvo is again offering a number of sedans, so we really don't know what the CHP would do in 2008 if they were making the choice now.

    Incidentally, folks, Volvo is owned by Ford, so you don't have to worry about "harming the American economy" by looking at an XC70 or something similar...Ford gets the dough anyway. All you would have to consider in a Volvo-Ford comparison is the cars themselves - features and total cost of ownership. In fact, there's a whole tangled web of incestuous "partnership" and "ownership" relationships between "domestic" and "foreign" car companies and/or their assembly plants, the engines or other subassemblies they use, etc., if you care to check it out. Hail the global economy.

    The Ford 500, Ford Fusion, Mercury Montego and a couple other Ford/Merc models did get high marks for quality this year from JD Powers, so I would certainly look at the 500, the Montego, and the midsize Fusion, which comes in a 4-door. Also, in the larger car department, Pontiac Grand Prix might be worth evaluating, as it also ranks high in quality. Many other issues, of course, but you gotta start your list somewhere. Other possibilities include Mitsubishi Galant, the Forrester, Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, Nissan XTerra, most any of the Volvos - sedans or wagons - except the luxury models, and Chevy Malibu. I don't think any of VWs models have done well. If a truck suits your purpose, my short list includes the Honda Ridgeline, the Honda Ridgeline, and the Honda Ridgeline. In a van, I'd look at either Honda Odyssey or the Kia Sedona. The Honda Element also has some very intriguing design features for specialty uses (e.g., interior is completely washable, enormous interior space, can be configured to carry a stretcher as a medical aid vehicle, etc.). You just gotta dig in and check 'em out.

    One way I have done this without being bugged by sales people and in order to have time for a "car magazine" type test, once you're down to 3 or 4 possibles, is to rent each one on your list for a weekend and take it out for a good workout. If you're not a big guy yourself, enlist the company of an enormous friend and see if he (or she - I don't wish to be sexist )can sit in it for long periods of time. Load everything imaginable into it and see if you can access things quickly. Take it out on the highway, and on some back roads. If you fill it up before returning it, you can check the gas mileage yourself. Read the owner's manual, too.

    (You can have some fun with this, too. Rent the car with a baby seat, and before you take it back to the rental agency throw some Cheerios into the baby seat along with a couple of empty beer cans and cigar butts. That'll screw with their minds!)
    SecTrainer
    Senior Member
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-14-2007, 12:19 PM.

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  • Andy Taylor
    Member

  • Andy Taylor
    replied
    I do know that a few years ago the CHP got a few Volvos for a year for testing. I don't remember witch model. They stayed with the CVPIs. Just an observation.

    Leave a comment:

  • SecTrainer
    Senior Member

  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Minneapolis Security View Post
    It would seem your prejudice would be for American cars. I'm not sure where you’re from, but in America, driving American vehicles is a business plus all by itself. Not to mention keeping the money in our country and not supporting a foreign government.

    I'm also not sure why you are so obsessed with the pursuit aspects of the CVPI, or why you think security vs. police patrols are so dissimilar? When I patrol, I’m looking for the same things they are, just on private property.

    My company also does prisoner transport, so the added room is really a necessity.

    All the vehicles you mentioned require extensive modification in order to do a so so job of meeting the CVPI’s factory installed features.

    I can order a CVPI from the factory, ready to hit the road. None of those other vehicles can do the same.

    There is also the silliness factor in driving little foreign cars that have security plastered all over them. It doesn’t do much to instill confidence in you clients when you roll up in a civic.
    You can no longer "support the American economy" by buying "American" cars, nor do you harm the American economy by buying "foreign" cars. Today, these terms have no meaning as most cars are comprised of globally-produced parts and could be assembled anywhere.

    I doubt seriously that there is sufficient "business benefit" from "driving American" to compensate you for driving anything other than vehicles that offers the real features needed for security patrol at the lowest operating cost. I doubt anyone is saying, "Oh, Heavens! We can't hire them - they drive Volvos!", or "Let's hire them - they drive Fords!". Puh-leeze. If anything, I'm more impressed with a company that has obviously considered operating costs in their fleet because I will assume that's how they run other aspects of their business as well.

    It seems that you simply cannot make your case unless you MISSTATE what I said, i.e., that you have a choice between driving a CVPI or a Charger, or else driving a Civic, or some other "silly little foreign car" that has no room, etc. I'm surprised you didn't use a VW Beetle for your example.

    This kind of deliberate misstatement of my position does you NO credit as a debater and brings nothing to the table in the way of solid discussion and enlightenment about our topic. So, I will ask you to please respond to what I do say, rather than misstating it. For instance, among the cars I mentioned were Volvo as well as Chevy Malibu and other examples of vehicles that are anything but "silly", and that should be evaluated for interior and trunk space, performance characteristics, and total cost of ownership, rather than simply accepting the CVPI or any other vehicle at face value.

    It's very hard for me to see how any business person can make a cogent argument against this simple proposition: Even if the CVPI is truly the "best" vehicle, you'll never know that it is unless you do some serious head-to-head comparisons of both features that are important to security patrol (not police patrol) and the TCO (total cost of ownership) against other alternatives. When you do this, you don't have to get very far into the process before it becomes pretty clear that neither the CVPI nor the Charger will make the short list of security patrol vehicles in terms of "typical" patrol usage. There might be a few exceptional patrol venues that would make these cars a better choice, but not typically.

    As the discussion deteriorates, I find myself thinking - hey, it's your money. Knock yourself out. I'd rather pay officers more than to pay a TCO premium for what (if we're all honest here) amounts to feeding the "we-gotta-look-like-cops" fantasy. I have no doubt at all that if the cops in this country drove Volvos, there would be no one on the board clamoring to drive Crown Vics and all the buzz would be about the "cool S60", or some other model that cops were driving. (Incidentally, a PD that I know of got a Volvo not long ago and officers squabble over who GETS to drive it...not who HAS to drive it.)

    ...and check out this link to Aspen PD, which uses Volvo XC90s for most of its fleet, and before that drove Saabs: http://www.aspenpitkin.com/depts/53/...ons_patrol.cfm Now, THAT is one sharp-looking patrol unit. You honestly think I'd lose "business value" with my officers driving around in those? NOT!

    In fact, if you do a little checking around, you'll see that even U.S. PDs drive lots of makes that you might not realize, and they make these decisions because in a given circumstance a particular vehicle makes the most sense. That is what I am suggesting security companies should do as well.

    What makes this argument all the more silly is that PDs everywhere are already purchasing hybrids, NEVs etc. in order to evaluate their usefulness for PATROL purposes. All you have to do is Google police purchases hybrid or police purchases NEV, etc. to scope out the news articles on this subject. If they think they need to do this kind of evaluation, well....
    SecTrainer
    Senior Member
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-14-2007, 10:41 AM.

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  • Hank1
    replied
    Well, my Dodge Charger came in today. It is in possession of the Fleet Mgr., for outfitting with graphics and lights to include the rhino pushbar. In a previous posting, the Charger was for another Officer, so I thought. It was a surprise apparently. I took it for a test ride today. All I can say is WOW! I will take possession of the vehicle in about 2 weeks when all of the bells and whistles have been installed. My 08' Crown Victoria will be re-issued out to another. Two more will be arriving shortly according to the Fleet Mgr. I will keep you all informed once I have taken possession of it.

    Be Safe,

    Hank

    Leave a comment:

  • gcmc security part 2
    Member

  • gcmc security part 2
    replied
    Originally posted by Charger View Post
    Too true. Foreign cars are built in the US, and domestic cars are built elsewhere... State of the world these days.

    For example, (former GM employee here), many of GMs engines are made in mexico, and many other parts are made in Canada. They then get shipped to the US for final assembly. Does that mean it's still made in the US of A?
    Agreed, take for example Steelcase furniture, they state they are "assempled in the US" yet all the parts are made overseas.

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  • Charger
    replied
    Too true. Foreign cars are built in the US, and domestic cars are built elsewhere... State of the world these days.

    For example, (former GM employee here), many of GMs engines are made in mexico, and many other parts are made in Canada. They then get shipped to the US for final assembly. Does that mean it's still made in the US of A?

    Leave a comment:

  • HotelSecurity
    Senior Member

  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by Minneapolis Security View Post
    It would seem your prejudice would be for American cars. I'm not sure where you’re from, but in America, driving American vehicles is a business plus all by itself. Not to mention keeping the money in our country and not supporting a foreign government.
    You do realize that a lot of foreign cars are built in the US by US workers. Sold from US owned dealerships. Repaired by US mechanics. How does buying a foreign car support a foreign GOVERNMENT? I do not know of any governments that own auto building companies.

    Please sit down, I don't want you to fall & hurt yourself when you read the following: The mom & apple pie company "Holiday Inn" was bought by a UK company many years ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • Charger
    replied
    Originally posted by Minneapolis Security View Post
    There is also the silliness factor in driving little foreign cars that have security plastered all over them. It doesn’t do much to instill confidence in you clients when you roll up in a civic.
    That alone is a good point. To go out on a limb here, my company uses Hyundais. (Both sedans and SUVs) Personally, I think the sedans look kinda goofy. The SUVs at least have a "mean" look to them, thanks in part to the new LED lightbars and pushbumpers.

    The sedans are not considered compacts, but GOSH they're cramped. There's no room for equipment, so the stereo had to be removed to make room for the light controls & radio. Same story in the SUVs as well. (I'm only 5'11", but *I* hit my head on the ceiling on a regular basis... I can't imagine how our taller S/Os feel) Sitting in the seat wearing full duty gear is a serious PAIN in both vehicles.

    So far the drivetrains have proven to be more reliable than in the old Ford Tauruses they replaced, but on the other hand the suspension systems have taken a heck of a beating by comparison and don't seem to be holding up as well. The mileage is only marginally better than the older cars. So little in fact it's basically a moot argument. The electrical systems BARELY handle the equipment load. (In fact, one of the sedans had a catastrophic electrical failure that I won't get into here.. lol) Only time will tell how they truly compare in reliability & overall cost.

    Hyundai hasn't exactly been a real contender in the auto market in the past, but most sources will tell you their reliability & quality has been on par with the other so-called "quality" (read Asian) makers for the past 7-10 years. So if that's true then that tells you how a Honda, Toyota or Mitsu would deal with the same type of job.

    In the end, is the (marginal) difference in reliability & mpg REALLY worth trading the comfort & spaciousness of the normal patrol car? In the end it's up to each individual company to decide, but if it were me, I'd say no.

    //rant off.

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  • Minneapolis Security
    Member

  • Minneapolis Security
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    You'll never know until you shake off your prejudices and just look at the cold, hard facts.
    It would seem your prejudice would be for American cars. I'm not sure where you’re from, but in America, driving American vehicles is a business plus all by itself. Not to mention keeping the money in our country and not supporting a foreign government.

    I'm also not sure why you are so obsessed with the pursuit aspects of the CVPI, or why you think security vs. police patrols are so dissimilar? When I patrol, I’m looking for the same things they are, just on private property.

    My company also does prisoner transport, so the added room is really a necessity.

    All the vehicles you mentioned require extensive modification in order to do a so so job of meeting the CVPI’s factory installed features.

    I can order a CVPI from the factory, ready to hit the road. None of those other vehicles can do the same.

    There is also the silliness factor in driving little foreign cars that have security plastered all over them. It doesn’t do much to instill confidence in you clients when you roll up in a civic.

    Leave a comment:

  • NRM_Oz
    Senior Member

  • NRM_Oz
    replied
    In Australia we have both Ford and Holden (GMC Equivalent) sedans for general use. These are family sedans (V6's) that are extremely modified (duh). General patrols are conducted in Pickup Trucks with twin cabs and caged, covered transport areas for those naughty people) and Forensics run from station wagons - fitted out for their needs. Some country police use 4wd units designed for bush work and for dangerous conditions including floods and then we have the pursuit vehicles which are all Fords and Holdens but V8 engines.

    A few companies like Mercedes, BMW, Mini Cooper, Mitsubishi, Volvo and Volkswagon have all given freebies for 12 months complete with markings, for the police to use as general use duties vehicles (court attendance, commander transport, witness transport) to display to the public and to support the community policing program and with some car hoons, these hotted up cars has been a talking point with the local police.

    Security vehicles (unless your own) are like rental cars - they can be thrashed and abused by different staff and it is not uncommon to see them treated worse than $50.00 paddock basher on a farm. I would never purchase an ex rental and when I sold my 4 patrol cars, the people buying them were the 4 of the 6 who ever drove them so they knew what they were buying from me.

    Things such as run flat tyres, rear passenger shields, more lights than Yankee Stadium and other dead money - just that - dead money. For what is spent on stupid upgrades, 2 vehicles could have been purchased.

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  • SecTrainer
    Senior Member

  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Minneapolis Security View Post
    Did it ever cross your mind that there is a reason that police departments use
    CVPI's and not honda cars, volvo, toyota and mitsubishi?

    Do you really think a honda accord will hold up to the use of a police department?

    Security and police use of vehicles is very similar, 99.95% of police use use has nothing to do with pursuit. It has a lot to do with constant idling, lots of city driving, and occasional abuse (intentional or not). Security use is very similar in this regard, so is taxi use. That is why you see CVPI's used in all three of these industries, it has nothing to do with looking more like the police. We already know that the general public is clueless when it comes to people in uniform, what brand of car you drive certainly isn't going to clear that up.

    Not to sound like a Ford representative, but here are the benefits I see in a heavy duty CVPI package, that non of the cars you listed have:
    • Alternator – 200-amp maximum output provides additional electrical capacity for police equipment
    • Body-on-frame, RWD construction
    • Coolers – For engine, power steering and transmission oil - Nice for a car that idles almost the whole shift.
    • Heavy-duty frame
    • Full-size spare tire and wheel - You can continue your shift after getting a flat
    • Heavy-duty suspension
    • Available Ballistic Door Panels from factory
    • Spot-lamp assembly – Driver’s side or dual - from factory. Can Toyota or Honda accommodate this?
    • Available Two-tone paint for those users that run a two-tone color scheme
    • Available fire suppression system


    I can't think of any non-service type vehicles that can offer all that. The regular Crown Vic doesn't cut it for heavy duty service either, but like I said in a previous post, they don't offer the regular Crown Vic for 2008 anyway.
    In answer to your questions:

    1. Of course it crossed my mind, but it doesn't explain why the police in other countries use other makes. This is more easily explained by Ford's position in the North American police fleet market, actually.

    2. Do I think an Accord would stand up to police use? Well, I don't know, but that's the whole point, isn't it? We're not the police, and I'm not suggesting Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi or Volvo for police use, am I?

    Having worked both sides of the line over many years, I can tell you that the similarities between PD and security vehicle use on patrol are not really great enough to warrant utilizing "police standards" about this.

    3. Can Toyota/Honda, etc. handle spotlights? Of course they can - and light bars as well.

    4. Any goober can get run-flat tires if that's important. While you're at it, get a vehicle fire extinguisher.

    5. Some of the items mentioned above are not standard on the CVPI, so either way you're talking extra on those.

    The point is simply this, and it doesn't have to become so emotional: When you look strictly at security patrol vehicle requirements, and stop fixating on police cars, you'll find differences in usage that create different criteria from police cars. There are a number of vehicles that meet these criteria quite admirably, with equal or greater storage space to the CV, equal or greater safety ratings than the CV, equal or greater reliability than the CV, equal or better handling characteristics, and at a MUCH lower total cost of ownership.

    I'd rather spend my money on officers wages than to spend one unnecessary penny for the vehicles they drive, providing what they drive is high quality, presents a professional appearance, efficient to operate, and is comfortable for an officer to spend a shift in it.

    I guarantee that if you did a spreadsheet using codes for the vehicle brands (so you're not influenced by their brand names), had them independently rated and then totaled up the scores, it would very likely surprise you when you exchanged the brand codes for the actual brand names and see what's top-ranked. You could be looking at a CV in top position, but it could be a Chevy Malibu, a Volvo V50, a Honda Element, a Saturn Vue or a Forrester. You'll never know until you shake off your prejudices and just look at the cold, hard facts.
    SecTrainer
    Senior Member
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-12-2007, 07:52 PM.

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  • Minneapolis Security
    Member

  • Minneapolis Security
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Umm, you're not upgrading it to everything that the CVPI has as standard equipment, right? (Look at the two packages, and you'll see.)

    Personally, I don't think the standard CV needs upgrading at all for security purposes other than perhaps the heavier-duty alternator and, depending on what gear will be used, a very inexpensive mod to the wiring harness and fuse panel. I have driven both - including a long trip in a standard CV around the back roads of western Canada (read, potholes, washouts, washboard roads, mud, etc.) and have driven the CVPI on patrol. The only time you would notice any difference in the suspension is on a very bad road or making a very sharp turn, etc. at very high speed. This takes me back to the statement that security vehicles are not used for pursuit.

    And, when you look at security patrol vehicle requirements from a dead start, knowing nothing about the fact that PDs use CVs (which I suspect is a lot of the attraction for security guards, frankly), you probably wouldn't wind up picking the CV at all - standard or otherwise. It's a toss-up whether you'd select any of the "American" brands at all. Honda, Volvo, Toyota and Mitsubishi would appear high on your list.

    It's interesting, but in my travels I've noticed that security companies all over the world tend to gravitate toward whatever cars are commonly used by the police in their countries, even though they have the same universe of possible vehicles available to them as those in other countries. This tendency suggests to me that it might not be cold hard evaluation of performance or cost measures that drive these decisions, but the universal desire of security companies to look as much like the police in their country as possible.

    Did it ever cross your mind that there is a reason that police departments use
    CVPI's and not honda cars, volvo, toyota and mitsubishi?

    Do you really think a honda accord will hold up to the use of a police department?

    Security and police use of vehicles is very similar, 99.95% of police use use has nothing to do with pursuit. It has a lot to do with constant idling, lots of city driving, and occasional abuse (intentional or not). Security use is very similar in this regard, so is taxi use. That is why you see CVPI's used in all three of these industries, it has nothing to do with looking more like the police. We already know that the general public is clueless when it comes to people in uniform, what brand of car you drive certainly isn't going to clear that up.

    Not to sound like a Ford representative, but here are the benefits I see in a heavy duty CVPI package, that non of the cars you listed have:
    • Alternator – 200-amp maximum output provides additional electrical capacity for police equipment
    • Body-on-frame, RWD construction
    • Coolers – For engine, power steering and transmission oil - Nice for a car that idles almost the whole shift.
    • Heavy-duty frame
    • Full-size spare tire and wheel - You can continue your shift after getting a flat
    • Heavy-duty suspension
    • Available Ballistic Door Panels from factory
    • Spot-lamp assembly – Driver’s side or dual - from factory. Can Toyota or Honda accommodate this?
    • Available Two-tone paint for those users that run a two-tone color scheme
    • Available fire suppression system


    I can't think of any non-service type vehicles that can offer all that. The regular Crown Vic doesn't cut it for heavy duty service either, but like I said in a previous post, they don't offer the regular Crown Vic for 2008 anyway.

    Leave a comment:

  • SecTrainer
    Senior Member

  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by ddog View Post
    Exactly! I'm starting to think he inserts counter-logical posts to see if anyone is reading. Or as the father of Transactional Analysis, Eric Bernes, would say, a perpetual I'm-Not-OK self-aware person playing a Look-At-ME(!!) psychological game from the subject's Deviant-Child ego state.
    Ddog, we never wondered why you were in security rather than practicing psychiatry at $250 an hour, so why should you feel the need to show us? What's next - your discoveries from EST?

    It might just be that someone disagrees with you. Don't take it so hard.
    SecTrainer
    Senior Member
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-12-2007, 12:32 PM.

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