This report presents the results of tests on 1999 police patrol vehicles conducted by the Michigan State Police, which, in partnership with the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC), has conducted annual tests of new models of police patrol vehicles since 1981.
The 1999 model year patrol vehicles were evaluated during September 19-21, 1998. For 1999, enhancements to the test format and procedure have included a more rigorous braking evaluation and the distinction between "police-package" and "special-service" vehicles. "Police-package" vehicles are those that are designed and manufactured for use in the full spectrum of law enforcement patrol service, including high-speed pursuits. A "special-service" vehicle is a vehicle that may be used by law enforcement agencies for general or specialized use but is not designed or manufactured to be used in pursuit situations. Each vehicle was tested and evaluated in the following six areas: vehicle dynamics, acceleration, top speed, braking, ergonomics and communications, and fuel economy. Vehicle dynamics testing determined high-speed pursuit-handling characteristics. Acceleration testing determined the ability of the vehicle to accelerate from a standing start to 60 mph within 10 seconds, 80 mph within 17.2 second, and 100 mph within 28.2 second. The top-speed test determined the vehicle's ability to reach 110 mph within 1 mile and 120 mph within 2 miles. The braking test determined the deceleration rate attained by each vehicle on 12, 60-to-0 mph impending skid stops. Ratings on ergonomics and communications pertained to the vehicle's ability to provide a suitable environment for patrol officers to perform their job, to accommodate the required communications and emergency warning equipment, and to assess the relative difficulty of installing the equipment. The fuel economy testing determined the fuel economy potential of the vehicle. One section of the report reviews what is new for 1999 for the Chevrolet, Ford, and Chrysler/Jeep police vehicles. Such information on Volvo police vehicles was not available at the report's press time, but testing information on two Volvo vehicles is provided. Scores for each test are presented for each type of vehicle. 7 tables and a listing of NLECTC publications
Date Published: October 1, 1998