A final trial of new police cars is about to take to city and country roads as NSW Police finetune arrangments for BMW and Chrysler to take over from Holden and Ford.
The BMW 530d and Chrysler 300c SRT Core will become a familiar sight for motorists as they take their place in the fleet of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
NSW Chief Inspector Phillip Brooks says the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon have served the organisation well over many years.
“But sadly with those vehicles no longer manufactured in Australia, the command undertook a fleet review to identify vehicles best suited for Australian law enforcement.”
Following a three-year search, which included assessment and testing of 17 different variants of several vehicles, the BMW 530d and Chrysler 300c SRT Core were chosen to replace Ford and Holden models from July 2018.
NSW Police today unveiled the BMW 530d and Chrysler SRT Core as the replacement vehicles to the outgoing Traffic and Highway Patrol Command fleet vehicles, with Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy saying the latest addition is focused on safety and efficiency.Having used Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores as the main Traffic and Highway Patrol enforcement vehicles for decades, and with both manufacturers ceasing Australian production last year, the command undertook a global fleet review to identify vehicles best suited for Australian law enforcement purposes.Following an exhaustive and comprehensive three-year search, which included rigorous assessment and testing of 17 different variants of several vehicles, the BMW 530d and Chrysler SRT Core were chosen to replace Ford and Holden models from July 2018.“The safety of our police officers and the community they serve is our top priority, and both these vehicles demonstrated the safety levels meeting our requirements,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.“Equally as important, the platform of both vehicles supports the state of the art technology that is key to the government’s focus on reducing the incidents of road trauma across New South Wales.The BMW and Dodge Chrysler brands provide NSW Police Force with a solid foundation to build on through years of experience in building law enforcement vehicles.Both vehicles are designed specifically for policing duties and similar models have performed as law enforcement vehicles across North America and Europe for years, and have an established presence in Australia, meaning support and further development will be accessible to the NSW Police Force.
Posted by NSW Police Force on Saturday, 19 May 2018
“Police today have grown up with Holden and Ford and those vehicles will certainly be missed by police right throughout the country,” Chief Inspector Brooks says.
“These new vehicles signify the future and are well used throughout Europe and the Americas.”
The BMW reportedly comes with a $120,000 price tag, while the Chrysler will cost the NSW Government $65,000 each. The luxury features the brands are associated with have been replaced with the “police pack.”
Both vehicles are designed specifically for policing duties and have an established presence in Australia, meaning support and further development will be accessible to the NSW Police Force.
“The BMW 530d is a diesel and is potentially a first for highway patrol usage in Australia,” he says.
“This vehicle is a twin-turbo, two litre, four-cylinder diesel, and based on power-to-weight, this will be a very, very quick car.
“The Chrysler is a much bigger car, a 6.4 litre, eight-cylinder, much more power, but both can carry significant payloads so the sort of equipment we plug into these cars and the equipment that we carry will be well fitted into these two vehicles.”
This new generation of highway patrol cars comes with some impressive law enforcement bells and whistles. Every vehicle will have automatic number plate reading technology to detect stolen cars or wanted drivers, front and rear-facing cameras and tablet computers for quick vehicle checks.
In the global search for these new vehicles, the Chief Inspector says safety features were paramount.
“Between the airbags, braking capability, and other safety features, these cars will be an excellent and safe working platform for police on our roads.”
The change over to the American built Chrysler and European built BMW has stirred memories of police cars over the years. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to their history – New South Wales Historic Patrol Vehicles.
“I’ve been in the Police Force for 30 years and when I started we were on the older Falcons and Commodores and even the Ford F150 trucks,” Chief Inspector Brooks says.
“Certainly the cars today are much smaller platforms with better fuel economy and are much safer vehicles.”
Five of the BMW’s are currently being rolled out for officers in metropolitan and regional commands to “test drive.”
“We need to get feedback from police who will be driving them every day of the week just in case we need to make a few more tweaks before we deploy these vehicles more widely,” he says.
“We’ve got over 600 vehicles in our fleet so this is something we need to get right, we want to make sure our police have the best possible platform to enforce road safety on the NSW road network.”
*This article first appeared on RiotACT