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photos by Broward County Deputy Tom Sheridan
Deputy Tom Sheridan of the Broward County Sheriff's Regional Traffic Enforcement Unit, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sent photos of his departments 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T police cars. These are used for a variety of roles including Aggressive Driving , Education, and Patrol.
The gray Challenger is used for aggressive driving enforcement, equipped with a front and rear radar system and Mopar Cold Air Intake system, for improved performance and gas mileage. Their pursuit policy is strict but if it falls within their guidelines, then the Challengers are up to the task as they are equipped with lights and siren.
The marked Challenger is equipped with an in car camera system, Lo-Jack stolen vehicle tracking system, and a laptop monitor which is linked to their helicopter to receive live video feeds. There are LEDs in the fog lights as well as the behind-the-grille, rooftop, and top-of-windshield strobes.
The interior photos showing the baton and yellow computer monitor is that of the marked Challenger. The other interior shot is of the gray Challenger, note the radar antenna near the top of the window.
Note in the reverse light housing on the Dodge Challengers, the department has incorporated red and blue LEDs behind the clear DODGE lens. In the shot showing the rear of the marked Challenger you can see them illuminated.
The Sheriff's Office operates a large fleet consisting of legacy Crown Victorias and over 200 Dodge Chargers for patrol. Sheriff Al Lamberti and Fleet Director Deputy Don Prichard were instrumental in acquiring the Challengers and forming their Multi-Agency Aggressive Driving Task Force, where the Challengers are widely used.
Deputy Tom Sheridan, who provided the information in this article, wrote, "I get stopped / flagged down all the time where people want to comment on how professional and sharp looking our vehicles are. I have to say it goes hand in hand with the men and women that operate them. My agency has some of the most dedicated men and women in law enforcement and our vehicles project that professionalism."
Group 1's Dallas Dodge Chrysler Jeep is now selling a customized special-service version of the Dodge Challenger with a retuned 400 horsepower Hemi engine that outpowers the factory Dodge Charger squads. The 1-4 shift was deleted and the top speed was adjusted up to 165 mph, making it the fastest and most powerful police car available.
This package started within Dallas Dodge early in 2009; at that time Chrysler didn't offer any price concessions, or even the availability of ordering the Challenger for fleet/government sales. With the new structure at Chrysler, and new senior manager Mitch Mitchell, Chrysler came forward with a small concession to order Challengers on the fleet/gov side.
Dallas Dodge's Director of Government Sales, Bert D. Stull, said, "We started asking our customers what they would like to see in a 2-door pursuit/traffic vehicle. We had a wide variety of responses, as you can imagine. Most was directed at speed combined with safety, and not much interest in overhead lights. So we brought all that to the table, and then went with pricing structures and other requests so the vehicle wouldn't be priced out of the market.
"The vehicle that we stayed with was the R/T Challenger with the customer selection of either automatic or standard transmissions, and package 27F or M which moves the vehicle into more of a low profile tire/rim handling configuration. Speed wise, we didn't deviate much from factory, other than optional small tuning configurations and top speed increase.
"We put all that together with a nice slick-top lighting package by Brooking industries, [directional remote-controlled] radar by Kustom signals, Digital Ally camera system, and a remote siren/light controller that is a remote type of operating system. We have quoted over 18 units in a variety of color selections as well as different equipment. Most of the input was from people that were just happy to see a car built that didn't have the same old ‘let's put a lightbar on the roof and call it a police car' mentality."
The setup includes black OEM wheels, a custom push-bumper, electronic shotgun lock, trunk tray, along with a custom LED light kit that displaces the traditional light bar.
By December 2009, Stull had sold two of the 2010 Dodge Challenger DDSSV-27M cars, and has had numerous queries.
Dallas Dodge-Chryler-Jeep is the largest police car dealer in Texas, and the second largest in the nation; they provide nationwide delivery, purchasing and COOP selections, in stock units around the year (with over $500,000 of in-stock police equipment), and complete turn-key packages.
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