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  • The new generation of squads

    It has been awhile since the Crown Vic was decommissioned and the new generation of squads (Explorers, Chargers, Caprices, etc.) have hit the streets.

    What are your thoughts about the new squads? What have you driven? I see a lot of the Explorers out there. I think they would be nice as far as room and 4 wheel drive goes, but are they "tippy" in emergency operation?

    I will say that from a PR standpoint I view SUV's as having a softer look to them than say a Charger or Caprice.

  • #2
    Couldn't fit in a Taurus or Caprice so they were both a no go. Tahoes are the most comfortable for me personally. The explorers are ok, crown Vic's are a lot better driving wise on dry roads. Nice that the explorers are AWD.
    In Valor there is hope

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    • #3
      I drive a caprice and love it! Granted I'm only 5'8. The car is definitely a short persons car. Anyone above about 5'10 will not fit in it comfortably. We have several new explorers which are really nice and handle extremely well. We unfortunately aren't getting the new ecoboost explorers which are supposed to be extremely fast and agile. I personally think the Tahoe is comfortable to drive but a terrible police vehicle...I know Gopherpuckfan and I can debate this one all day long
      "We Train to Fight, We Fight to Win, We Win to Survive, We Survive to LIVE!"

      The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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      • #4
        My department decided to go to the Caprice, which I hate. The Crown Vic I am assigned to has over 116,000 miles, which is fine with me. I drove the Caprice for EVOC because I didn't have a choice. Way too small for me.

        My choice would be the Tahoe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SCSU10 View Post
          I drive a caprice and love it! Granted I'm only 5'8. The car is definitely a short persons car. Anyone above about 5'10 will not fit in it comfortably. We have several new explorers which are really nice and handle extremely well. We unfortunately aren't getting the new ecoboost explorers which are supposed to be extremely fast and agile. I personally think the Tahoe is comfortable to drive but a terrible police vehicle...I know Gopherpuckfan and I can debate this one all day long
          Agree on all parts except the Tahoe being a terrible police vehicle. I love the room in it, but definitely wish they had the pursuit-rated 4x4 option when we bought our current ones. My only real complaint is the placement of the A-pillar. It can be hard to see what's around a curve, especially with the spotlight mounted there.
          The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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          • #6
            I saw a blacked out F150 that was actually a Minneapolis Airport 'police' car, with lights and everything ... looked pretty neat.

            I have already seen some second hand chargers driving around too, already decommissioned!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vivithemage View Post
              I saw a blacked out F150 that was actually a Minneapolis Airport 'police' car, with lights and everything ... looked pretty neat.
              Those are our K9 squads. Also, it's Airport Police. Not sure why you put 'police' in quotes.
              The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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              • #8
                Whats with the quotation marks?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gopherpuckfan View Post
                  Those are our K9 squads. Also, it's Airport Police. Not sure why you put 'police' in quotes.
                  Aren't you guys just security?

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                  • #10
                    I think he put the quotes in the wrong place. The quotes should have been around car. Gopher, you mentioned pursuit rated. I have never seen a pursuit rated F150 and most agencies (with a dog) try to get the K9 vehicle to be the lead so the pooch can get the bad guy if he bails.

                    Having a non pursuit rated K9 vehicle makes no sense.

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                    • #11
                      Dec 2011 was when the last Vic came off the line at the St. Thomas plant. The last month or so of production was not Police cars, so figuring that the 11s would have been put in service late 11 early 12, they are still out there but the number is dwindling. State Patrol is up to 2010s at auction. Mpls PD has a grab-bag of 06-07-08-09-10s, but the days of finding one at auction with 48-60,000 miles are long gone.

                      Our dept. got an Explorer Utility last August, and in a year it has about 50,000 on it. Mechanically and maintenance wise it's beat the Vic's, we did a lease from the State Of MN, so basic service is provided by ARI Fleet cupons. Just had it's first brake job at 49,000. I think the bigger rotors and large cooling slots in the wheels help alot, our Vic's would need brakes every 4-10,000 miles, and constant problems with rotors heat-warping.

                      Overall impressions, as a 6-foot 220lb guy, the extra room and more 'upright' driving position are a plus (you can look down in to a lot of lower cars). Power from the 3.7 V-6 is decent, but the transmission seems to always hunt for gears. More an issue if you work in town as opposed to more wide open area patrol. Response is good, and quick. When we first got it, it was easy to not realize how fast you were going. Keeping gear clean and dry in the back cargo area is good, and with the Pro-Guard molded seat getting people in and out is easier. (I am shocked at PDs that keep it's factory rear seat in a patrol vehicle, it's a bad-guy-stash dream with cracks and crevices). The rear doors swing wide, so even bigger people have a bit more room getting in and out. A/C is decent, they seem to handle the extended idle ok. Heat was ok in the winter, but ducting to the rear seat is poor (not like we worry).

                      For the gripes: The spotlight is a reach, due to the A-pillar design. The driver seat is even more uncomfortable then a squashed and broken down Crown Vic seat. It's obvious that Ford scrimped on any padding, thigh bolstering or lateral support. I actually take one of our clapped out Vics when I can because the Utility seat hurts me to sit in. Couple a rotation of big-guy butts hammering it down, and it's pathetic. The factory seat fabric was cheap also, granted the Vic's started to wear and rip around 30-40,000 miles, but if I hadn't put some cheap-o Wallmart seat covers on ours when we got the truck, we would have a huge hole ripped in the side from getting in and out by now.

                      Driver seat buckle- is right where a right handers holster is...I mean right under it. So the plastic cracked, and fell apart and you had jagged edges and exposed buckle guts. Get fed-up and took it to the dealer and had them replace it, and soon the new one will be that way too...

                      Skid-plates, a good idea. We've had one blown out tire vs curb. But the exhaust does hang a little low under the engine. Ours did not have the skid plates.

                      Ride and handling is ok, some of my friends on MPD call them 'bread-wagons' as they are kind of tinny sounding. The ride is almost over harsh and stiff. I like how the Vic was stiff but compliant, the Utility feels like the axles are welded to the frame, banging over expansion joints and irregularities. Cornering is surprisingly flat, yes there is a learning curve to them coming off a Sedan. You can't throw the tail around like a Vic. As you put more miles on, you'll notice more rattles and squeaks especially on driveway approaches, as that's just a unitized body vehicle aging. For some reason all the paint wore off the bottom edges on the front door seams, they seem to rub on the inner rocker molding.

                      The 4 wheel drive in the winter was outstanding, no issues and with Goodyear Ultra-Grips it chewed through anything. MPD runs regular summer RSA's I was told (yikes!).

                      Anyhow, I don't work for Car and Driver so my opinion is just that, mine. Overall if Ford improved that awful seat, I think they have a good package. Were going to order two more as we cycle Vics out. The 3 year lease seems to work well for smaller cities in that when your done it goes back to Surplus Services for auction, so the City doesn't have to deal with that. Also the maint schedule is very aggressive with oil changes every 3,000 miles and it follows all the Ford guidelines for severe service.

                      On a side note, my 1995 Caprice gets collector plates next year, it's funny how old that car feels when I take it to shows. It was the top dog back then with the LT1, and now the V6 Fords and Chryslers can pummel it...

                      Ever onward I guess..

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MNCountyCop View Post
                        Aren't you guys just security?
                        Quiet you.

                        The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Long Relief View Post
                          I think he put the quotes in the wrong place. The quotes should have been around car. Gopher, you mentioned pursuit rated. I have never seen a pursuit rated F150 and most agencies (with a dog) try to get the K9 vehicle to be the lead so the pooch can get the bad guy if he bails.

                          Having a non pursuit rated K9 vehicle makes no sense.
                          Pursuit-rated Tahoes for patrol. The 2015 models have the 4x4 and pursuit-rated option. Our K9s at the airport are either Narcotics or explosives detection. We don't have bite dogs, so we don't need pursuit-rated trucks.
                          The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gopherpuckfan View Post
                            Pursuit-rated Tahoes for patrol. The 2015 models have the 4x4 and pursuit-rated option. Our K9s at the airport are either Narcotics or explosives detection. We don't have bite dogs, so we don't need pursuit-rated trucks.
                            That makes perfect sense.

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