In every true western movie the cowboy has his trusty steed. In the world of law enforcement every officer has his police cruiser. For the past twenty years that cruiser has been the Ford Crown Victoria. Police forces all around the country have always needed large sedan like vehicles to carry all of their equipment. They also need a vehicle that is quick, comfortable, and most importantly, reliable. Law enforcement agencies around the country had always used various vehicles as their squad cars, but in 1992 they selected the perfect police cruiser. Ford introduced their new body style Crown Victoria. It had everything that a cop could ever need in the perfect police car. It was quick. It was comfortable for police officers to sit in for long shifts and it was built to be durable.
Ford had made some modifications to the car to give it better handling and overall performance than the civilian model of the Crown Vic. They gave the vehicle rougher suspension to handle tight corners, rough terrain and whatever else it might encounter. The police models had other options to suit high speed pursuit chases. The cruisers were given bigger brakes, aggressive shifting points, and a higher idle. On top of that Ford did a complete weight reduction to the car getting rid of anything unnecessary to officers, to give it better acceleration and higher top speed.
It was also given a heavy duty frame to handle field abuse, a reinforced roof to handle a possible roll over crash. The car was stripped of anything considered to be luxurious. Instead of long bench seat in the front it was given bucket seats. The carpeting was replaced with rubber floor mats to better handle rowdy criminals. The driver and passenger seats were outfitted with a stab proof material. Some models were given a fire suppression system that would shoot out flame retardant if the car was on fire. The car has changed very little since 1992. Ford made a few changes to the design of the car in 1998 to meet new safety requirements, but other than that, the Crown Vic hasn’t changed.
For the past twenty years the Crown Vic has been the main police vehicle for law enforcement agencies in the United States. The simplicity of the vehicle is what gives it such an aggressive appearance. The car has been featured in many Hollywood movies and television shows such as CSI: Miami, Law and Order, S.W.A.T, and Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River.
Unfortunately the times have changed and the long-lived car’s production finally came to an end. On September 15, 2011 the last Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line in St. Thomas Canada. It was a sad day for police agencies all around the country to come to the realization that their endless supply of Crown Vic’s had come to an end. Ford tried to introduce new vehicles to their police fleet, but many officers have been hesitant to use them and Ford has had many complaints about the discontinuation of the Crown Victoria. Many police departments have started to buy up whatever Crown Victorias they can find in order to last a few more years. Whatever the future holds there will never be another car like the Crown Vic.
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