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Do police departments need a pickup truck in their crime-catching lineup?
Ford believes they do.
The Dearborn automaker on Thursday unveiled the first-ever Police Pursuit version of its F-150 pickup, a 375-horsepower, four-wheel-drive crew cab developed specifically for rural agencies like the Border Patrol, sheriff’s departments and the fish and game authorities.
The F-15 Police Responder is rated for speeds up to 100 m.p.h. and uses the same Ecoboost V6 engine as Ford police vehicle versions of the Taurus sedan and Explorer SUV.
Ford has long been a leader in police car and SUV sales to law enforcement departments and is trying too hang onto that lead position. In April, Ford revealed a hybrid version of the Fusion designed for police departments. The Ford Police Responder is the first hybrid vehicle ever offered to police departments in the U.S.
Surprisingly, the engine of the F-15 Police Responder pickup gives departments a large, spacious vehicle capable of traversing rough terrain. It delivers more horsepower and torque than the 6.0-liter V8 Chevrolet police pursuit vehicle or the Hemi V8-powered Dodge Charger Pursuit police car.
Ford’s police truck also has vinyl rear seats and can accommodate a divider to carry prisoners. Its passenger compartment is bigger than the Taurus, Explorer, Chevrolet police pursuit vehicle and the Charger Pursuit. Ford also claims best in class shoulder and hip room and the ability to carry five officers.
“Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager.
The front seats have been scooped out and flattened to accommodate vests and utility belts, and there’s an open space between them for consoles with computers, shotgun racks and the like.
Upgrades for police service include skid plates, a high-output 240-amp alternator to power computers, lights, sirens and other extra devices.
The brakes were also upgraded, along with a new front stabilizer bar for improved handling. Meters that show hours of engine operation and time spent idling, a column shifter and 7,000-pound towing capacity complete the Police Responder package.
Contact Mark Phelan: firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-222-6731. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.