Law Enforcement Technology

NOV 2016

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Page 20 of 43 NOVEMBER 2016 LAW ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY 21 all horseback back then, there wasn't any mechanization when we started off," he says. Then, in a way, prohibition bought MSP their first patrol vehicles with seized bootlegger cars being used for patrol. "We didn't necessarily buy our first cars," jokes McCarthy. "It just hap- pened to be whatever we ended up [in] possession of." By the late 1940s to 1950s the agen- cy began requesting bids for vehicle manufacturers. Not wanting to go blind into a purchase, they then started their testing. Low-bid cars were put out to determine whether or not they would be suitable for police work. "They would actually only test the low bid car and as long as it was acceptable they purchased more," says McCarthy. The story takes a turn in late 1950s, where $4 was the difference between the lowest bid vehicles—making one wonder what performance would be gained by another $4. How else to Acceleration / Top Speed Top Speed (MPH) 0 to 60 MPH (seconds) BMW R 1200 RT-P 136 4.31 Can-AM Spyder F3P 120 5.76 Chevrolet Caprice 3.6L RWD 147 7.91 Chevrolet Caprice 6.0L RWD 155 6.11 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L RWD 132 7.97 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L 4WD 121 8.08 Dodge Charger 3.6L 2.62 RWD 142 8.06 Dodge Charger 5.7L 2.62 RWD 150 6.17 Dodge Charger 5.7L 3.08 AWD 150 6.05 Ford SSP Sedan 2.0L Ecoboost FWD 120 8.26 Ford PI Sedan 3.5L FWD 133 7.78 Ford PI Sedan 3.7L AWD 133 7.43 Ford PI Sedan 3.5L Ecoboost AWD 150 5.7 Ford PI Utility 3.7L AWD 132 7.99 Ford PI Utility 3.5L Ecoboost AWD 130 6.4 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide 109 5.38 Harley-Davidson Road King 110 5.42 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Stage 3 110 4.43 Zero Motorcycles DSRP n/a n/a 1980 Plymouth Gran Fury 124.6 11.31 1980 Chevrolet Impala 110.4 12.955 a winner, nor were they ever designed to resemble a race. Yet, top performanc- es are difficult to overlook. In braking, the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder looks to stop shortest at a projected 118.9 feet from a 60 MPH speed. Yet, the Harley-Davidson Road King record- ed the shortest deceleration rate of the motorcycles (28.16) and second of the entire group. On the flip side, Ford's Utility 3.5L Ecoboost all-wheel drive accelerated to 60 MPH quickest as far as SUVs go. One of the Dodge Charger 5.7s had a top projected distance for a vehicle, however, at 123.2 feet. But if get-up-and-go sounds more up your alley, check out the 2017 BMW R 1200 RT-P—once again it ended up the quickest motorcycle with both top speed (136 MPH) and acceleration to 60 (4.31 seconds). In comparison, the Chevrolet Caprice 6 liter was able to reach 155 MPH, while the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan 3.5 liter Ecoboost all-wheel drive was able to reach the 60 MPH mark quickest in 5.7 seconds. Grattan Raceway's two mile road course returned a difference of about eight seconds between quickest time to least. It may have had to do with the acceleration capability, but the Ford Police Interceptor 3.5 liter Ecoboost all wheel drive recorded an average lap time of 1:35.34 seconds with the always nimble BMW R 1200 RT-P clocking a 1:39.14. What does four seconds per mile mean to you? To compare older models to today, LET has included archived MSP data for braking and acceleration from a Plymouth Gran Fury and Chevrolet Impala, tested in October 1979. About that $4 In my interview with one of the MSP drivers of the Precision Driving Unit, Sgt. Michael McCarthy was able to give me the story of how the vehicle evaluation event began. Back in the day (a Wednesday, I believe), MSP were hired during World War I to secure Michigan's iron mines. Afterward they were kept on as the police force. "It was know if not test both? That continued until 20 years later, "the testing as it is known today, the one that we consider our 'first' year was 1975," says McCarthy. "Other than the equipment used, [this test program] was the same since." Acceleration, deceleration rates, top speed, and a dynamic course has been—and will be for the foreseeable future—a mainstay in the Michigan State Police Vehicle Tests and Evaluations. Over a hundred or more attend the event now, but early-on it wasn't always a popular expectation. McCarthy explains that about five people came to watch the first year. The following year brought 30 or so. The story goes, he says, that one of the vehicle manu- facturers observing the hungry mass suggested serving food. The tradition stuck. Today each manufacturer is held responsible for one of three meals—a breakfast, a lunch that same day, or a lunch at the Grattan Raceway. Want to keep the image so many budget dollars built? From the outside, the 2017 Chevrolet Impala (above) and the Tahoe (below) didn't diverge from the designs of year's past.

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