Canadian Manufacturing

Ford offers surveillance system in police vehicles to boost officer safety

Backup camera, cross-traffic alert used "to give police officers added situational awareness"

DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford says its 2014 model year police vehicles will be available with groundbreaking surveillance technology to protect officers while parked.

With officers often using police cruisers as mobile offices—writing reports and monitoring in-car computers and radar systems from the driver’s seat—the Detroit automaker is offering up a new surveillance mode that utilizes a host of in-car technology to help prevent the risk of being approached from behind.

Developed in collaboration with Intermotive Inc. of Auburn, Calif., the system uses existing in-car technologies like a backup camera, cross-traffic alert and reverse park assist “to give police officers added situational awareness and a first line of defense from potential assailants.”

“I can tell you from personal experience at night that officer security is a critical concern,” Ford police and ambulance fleet supervisor Randy Freiburger said in a statement about the new feature.

“Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers. This system builds upon the Ford Police Interceptor DNA that puts safety and security at the top of the list.”

When an officer activates the system with the vehicle in park, the backup camera, combined with sensors that detect blind spots and parking obstacles, continually monitors the area to the rear of the vehicle.

Surveillance mode can be turned off in situations such as curbside urban settings where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, according to Ford.

The surveillance mode system is available in 2014 Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicles.

Ford says the system can be installed at Crown, the facility near Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, where it outfits police vehicles with emergency systems.

It will also be available through third-party upfitters.

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