And the propaganda release...
FORD INTRODUCES INDUSTRY-FIRST POLICE VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY
Ford Motor Company and New York State Senator Nicholas Spano today announced an important step to protect police officers. During the 2005 model year, Ford plans to offer a fire suppression system as a factory option on Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. This is an automotive industry first.
The announcement today is part of a holistic approach by Ford and the law enforcement community to reduce the risk of fire-related injuries to police officers from high-speed, high-energy rear crashes.
In recent months, Ford and representative members of the law enforcement community formed a Blue Ribbon Panel and Technical Task Force to reduce the risks faced by police officers in highway stops. Law enforcement personnel, independent experts, component suppliers and Ford personnel worked in a number of areas, including improving communications with a dedicated website – www.cvpi.com
. The initial results, including the Upgrade Kit designed to shield the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor's fuel tank from vehicle components, were announced and published on the website for broad and quick dissemination. Ford also has developed a Trunk Pack™ to allow police officers to locate police equipment more safely. In addition, Ford engineers have worked with members of the law enforcement community to evaluate alternative traffic stop procedures in a manner that reduces the officer's exposure to danger. Ford also is encouraging state legislators to pass "move-over" laws in their states to protect officers in their line of duty.
"Today's announcement is further evidence of Ford's commitment to police officer safety," said Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Company vice president, Environmental and Safety Engineering. "We have already advanced the safety of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor well beyond governmental regulations or industry practice. However, until we, as a society, eliminate high-speed accidents, we will never eliminate the risk of fire. The potential of a fuel leak, while rare, is part of the risk of every high-speed accident. Therefore, we believe the actions we are taking to introduce fire suppression technology will help save lives."
Ford is developing a fire suppression system with Aerojet, a supplier for the United States military with the technology initially developed and tested for use in the interior of U.S. military armored personnel vehicles. The system uses advanced electronics and on-board sensors to measure post-impact vehicle movement to determine the optimal time for deployment of the fire suppression material. The system will be integrated into the CVPI's structure and electrical architecture.
Ford and Aerojet conducted joint testing of many different fire suppression formulas and dispersal methods. Ford and Aerojet will continue to validate the effectiveness and reliability of fire suppression in an automotive application.
"This is a monumental day for law enforcement across the country," Senator Spano said. "Ford deserves credit for their commitment to creating this technology. It represents a major first step in reducing fuel tank fires that have unfortunately taken the lives of officers across the country."
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is joining with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to look at broader issues of police officer safety. Four members of the original "Blue Ribbon Panel" will participate in the IACP/NHTSA Joint Panel. They will focus on three areas initially: police procedures, police equipment and enhancing the safety of vehicles traveling on the nation's highways. Information from the Joint Panel will be available on the www.cvpi.com
"We believe it is a privilege to support the men and women of law enforcement and we remain committed to them in the important work they do," Cischke said. "By focusing on crash avoidance, vehicle crash worthiness and post-crash fire suppression, we have advanced the state of the art in the industry. These actions will improve officer safety."