CHP purchases V6 Dodge Chargers

From having been shamed whilst driving Mommy’s SUVs, the CHP finds itself going back to sedans.

The newly-styled Dodge Charger.

I helped my department purchase and upfit its five 2004 Dodge Chargers as test beds with the Hemi V8. We learned a lot about the Charger. It understeered like a big dog, lacked trunk room, lacked rear seat prisoner room and constricted the passenger officer because of the upfitting issues involving vertical long gun mounts and laptop mount.

The other thing I discovered is that my Toyota RAV4 V6 SUV, chipped to 300 HP, could take the Charger’s 340 HP Hemi until it reached 3,400 RPM. Then the Charger simply said “buh-bye.”

California Highway Patrol officer Florentino Olivera stands in front of all three cars being used in Santa Ana, CA on Monday, March 20, 2017. The former mainstay is the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor by Ford Motor Co., left, The new Dodge Charger Pursuit and a Ford Explorer Explorer Police Interceptor. (Photo by KEN STEINHARDT,Orange County Register/SCNG)

Trust me, the new Dodge Chargers haven’t much changed. There are still issues. Also, the more airbags placed into a vehicle = the fewer airbag pathways that can be obstructed by equipment demanded in today’s technology-packed cop cars such as computers, laptops, electronic chargers, dash cams and speed tracking devices.

From MercuryNews.com:

CHP is switching from SUV-style patrol cars to sleek Chargers

by Alma Fausto

California Highway Patrol officers have begun hitting the road in sleek black-and-white Chargers as the agency starts replacing their SUV-style patrol cars.

The Dodge Charger Pursuit is moving into the agency’s fleet as the older cars retire, namely the prevalent Ford Explorer and on occasion the iconic, and now rare, Crown Victoria.

Of Orange County’s 80-plus CHP black-and-whites, five are Chargers.

“I really like the look of the Charger,” said Officer Florentino Olivera, who is based at the Santa Ana headquarters. “It just looks like a cop car.”

Right. Instead of Mommy’s SUV.

Once, the Crown Victoria – referred to by cops as the “Crown Vic” or CVPI – ruled the streets when it came to many police fleets, including the CHP. When Ford stopping making them in 2011, many agencies opted for other sedans.

Much as I hate to admit it, the Ford CVPI was one of the most forgiving vehicles law enforcement has driven in the past and will ever drive. I had a love/hate relationship with the CVPI as an EVOC Supervisor and instructor. But, truthfully, sigh, well, yeah, more love than hate. It only took 25,000 years for the car to ramp up to 250 HP from its unchanged 4.6 liter small block V8 at 210 HP. The prior generation 351-engined Crown Vics sported a jaw-dropping 180 HP.

When production of Ford’s CVPI halted in 2011, other manufacturers stepped in, including Dodge with its Charger and Chevrolet with its Caprice PPV — an actual vehicle borne in Australia via Holden and imported into the US. At no small cost.

Which is why it never succeeded. Costly import fees and parts access made the overall experience more expensive for agencies. That and Chevrolet/Holden halted Caprice production.

In 2013, the CHP went with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, based on the Ford Explorer SUV. It could carry the Highway Patrol’s large load of equipment and is all-wheel drive. Other police agencies have also chosen the vehicle.

But when the CHP’s contract was up for renewal last year, the state decided to go back to a sedan. The California Department of General Services weighed performance, price and load capacity. The rear-wheel-drive Dodge Charger Pursuit met the CHP’s specifications, and was slightly less expensive and better on gas than the Ford.

Because it was a V6. Like the Ford Explorer. Let’s make some things clear.

Fran Clader, a CHP spokeswoman in Sacramento, said 588 Chargers have been purchased, with 122 on the road. They are being distributed across California when an existing car is inoperable or sometimes when one reaches 100,000 miles, if it isn’t running real well.

In all, the agency has 2,900 black-and-whites.

CHP ended up purchasing the 27A RWD package with the 5-speed transmission and  3.7L V6 engine rated at 292 HP, less than the Ford Explorer 3.7L V6 (304 HP) but more than the final production years of the Crown Vic. The 2016 Chargers were $27,140 per unit.

Once upfitted, Ford Explorers were damned near impossible to see out of when backing because of the rear seat cage, roll bar, lights and equipment. Most were spec’d with backup cameras in the rear view mirror and, had they not, there would be many more damaged law enforcement Explorers as well as other vehicles, buildings, fences and the like. Ergonomically, they were more comfortable and larger than Chargers. The Explorers were also plagued with transmission problems.

Frankly, the Charger fleet purchase was purely fiscal. Officers like the looks but, I sense, will come to be unimpressed overall, particularly with the anemic V6 and the limited interior room.

Conversely, CHP transitioned from the BMW R1200RTP authority motor to the Harley-Davidson FLHTP Electra Glide in 2014 which, at $28,381.00, has a base price more than the Charger. However, a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty covering all service and repairs makes the purchase price more palatable, something BMW did not offer.

Officers are of two minds about the bikes. Leggy officers enjoyed the BMW (a damned tall motorcycle) and its smoother engine. Shorter officers like the lower Harley but some are not keen on having their fillings vibrated for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for years.

CHP is also transitioning from their standard issue Smith & Wesson 4006 TSW stainless handgun in .40 caliber, to the Smith & Wesson M&P (military and police) in .40 caliber with their own CHP serial numbers, from CHP1018 – CHP908A. I have no current photo of this issue weapon, but will shortly.

So when you looked in your rearview and surmised “it’s just a V6 SUV,” you can do the same thing, only different. “It’s just a V6 Dodge Charger.” Different frame, different manufacturer, less horsepower.

Heads-up.

BZ

 

How Being Raised In The Ghetto Colors Perceptions Of Law Enforcement

CHP Maurice Walker Motor OfficerFrom FoxNewsLatino and the “Sooper Mexican”:

There’s been a lot of angry rhetoric about whether race enters into the raising of children, specifically, how African-Americans should tell their children to act around white people, and law enforcement officials. Since so many of these are anecdotal, I thought to add my experience to the cacophony.

My family lived in a working class poor neighborhood in southern California. It was also very Hispanic, and as far as we knew, mostly Mexican. One of my best friends was Arabic, but he looked Hispanic, and we didn’t really know what being Arabic meant, so it didn’t matter to anyone except our parents couldn’t talk to his in Spanish (and therefore, not at all).

I often heard stories about racist cops and racist white people doing racist things to my Mexican relatives and friends. Even at that early age, I was somewhat skeptical — it seemed to me that in many of these stories, I could see how people instigated and escalated any conflict with authorities and white people. I rarely voiced my skepticism, but when I did, it wasn’t appreciated.

Finally one day when I was about 15 a relative had it out with me. Angrily, he yelled at me at how it was easy for me to deny racism since I didn’t drive yet, but once I did, he said, “you’ll know how racist these f**ng cops are!”

He had me there. I didn’t have that experience. So I said, “Maybe you’re right, maybe once I drive on my own I’ll find out.”

In my long life as a White Hispanic (or “Whisp” as I like to call us now), I have driven many a mile and been pulled over by many a policeman, mostly for speeding. As far as I recall, each law enforcement official has been professional, and some have been downright friendly.

I might posit that if I were more white than Hispanic, I’d have less speeding tickets, but aside from that, I have no experience whatsoever with racist bigoted law enforcement officials.

What’s the difference between my relative’s experience and mine?

When I address a policeman/woman/other, especially after being pulled over, it’s “yes, sir” and “no, sir.” I don’t think I heard this relative ever talk about police without a curse word or an epithet, especially of that having to do with pork products. This is the same for others who were raised in the same socioeconomic environment I was raised in.

This absolute chasm of experience between the “ghetto” mindset and others explains the completely different reactions to the Zimmerman trial. While most Caucasians don’t understand the sting of a parent having to tell a child to act a certain way because of perceived racial bigotry, it’s also the case that most kids that need this instruction aren’t getting it at all.

And there you have it.

Let me give you this story.

I was recently stopped by a CHP motor officer in a small town off I-80, when I made a right turn (which is generally legal in Fornicalia) against a sign I didn’t see.  The CHP officer, on a BMW 1200RTP, watched the vehicle in front of me do the exact same thing, except that I was directly in front of the officer and I was admittedly watching him instead of the signs.  I’d never been that way through the intersection before.  My bad.

Once crossing the freeway overpass, he lit me up and I pulled over, with a clear turn signal, rolled down both my windows, and kept my hands on the steering wheel.  I rolled down the right window because officers may approach on the right.  Instead, he chose to approach from the left.

He told me about the right turn and the fact that he had seen the Volvo perform the precise same illegal maneuver but — stating the obvious — I was directly in front of him.

He chose me because I was easier.

I said yes sir and no sir, and I didn’t see the sign because I was watching you, sir.  I told him I had never been that direction from the market I recently shopped.  I told him that I was sorry that I had missed the signs and that I would never do that again.

Still, he wanted my license and my registration and my proof of insurance, which I provided to him.  My wallet contains my LE identification, badge and ID over two separate leather flaps, but I didn’t buzz him.  I gave him precisely what he wanted.  I said: “here you go, sir.”

My license was current, my registration was paid, and my proof of insurance valid.  He paused for a moment or two.  I thought I was going to get a citation.  He asked: “do you think you will see those signs in the future?”

I replied: “yes sir.  I know I will.  You’ve made sure of that.”

He handed my documents back and said, “good.  Now you know why.”

I said: “yes sir, I do, and please ride safely.”

He had no idea that I have been an EVOC instructor for 35+ years, that I have taught, literally, hundreds and hundreds of students in cars and, further, that I ran our EVOC motor officer classes and have also taught emergency response personnel in box medic rigs and large fire apparatus, as well as having my commercial license for buses and Kenworth commercial rigs.

I treated the man with respect and consideration.  I pulled over where it was safe, signaled my intentions, made sure the final stop would not be affected by cross traffic, rolled down my windows, and placed my hands in plain sight.

Yes, I was carrying a loaded concealed firearm beginning with a 4.  And another in a bag on the passenger seat, likewise beginning with a 4.  I would go there if he decided to go there.

I said “yes sir” and “no sir” and treated him with respect because he had no idea who I was or where I was from or where I was going or why.

Because I know that every “routine stop” is likely everything but.

And I’m an old white guy, and he was a young guy.

Oh yeah.  And he was black.

Big deal.

BZ