An evolution in police safety

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Amherst department acquires new vehicles featuring all-wheel drive technology

AMHERST - Safety for Amherst’s police officers and its citizens is the primary reason the town invested in a new fleet of 2013 Ford Interceptors for its officers.

With the former Ford Crown Victoria vehicles reaching 200,000 to 300,000 km, it was time to replace the old model, said Amherst Acting Police Chief, Ian Naylor.

“They have a life expectancy. For emergency response vehicles they reached the point where it was time to replace them, for the safety of the people driving them and the public.”

Financially it made little sense to continue to invest in maintenance on the older model, Naylor said.

“You are pouring money into something that is better off invested in purchasing new vehicles.”

Ford completely redesigned the police package. The vehicles have enhanced suspension and breaking, heavy-duty wheels and tires, ballistic panels (to protect from firearms) and an enhanced air bag system.

“They’re specifically designed to meet the demands of emergency response,” he said.

However the key feature that has officers excited about the new vehicle is the all-wheel drive. In extreme weather conditions, all-wheel drive allows for safer and more efficient response times.

“It’s a significant change in police vehicles. This new feature enhances our ability to respond and provide service in a more safe manner.”

Without the town’s support none of this would be possible, they had the foresight to see the value of all-wheel drive, he said

“They’re a leader in this new technology. In time, I expect most police agencies in this area to have all-wheel drives for all vehicles.”

The technology has been around for a while but has only been implemented recently in police vehicles. Naylor attributes this to the evolution of safety in policing, comparing it to years ago when officers didn’t have body armour to protect them, which has since been changed as well.

“They’re always trying to come up with new ways to make things safer for everyone. This all-wheel drive to me is another part of the evolution of safety in policing.”

Naylor said he’s actually looking forward to the winter season to see how the vehicle performs.

“I’ve read reports from the Winnipeg police service about the testing of the police vehicles and they’re very pleased and give it high marks.”

staffreporter@amherstdaily.com

 

Organizations: Ford Crown Victoria

Geographic location: Winnipeg

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