AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Dodge announced the addition of Rear Cross Path Detection to the Officer Protection Package first introduced with the 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit.
Developed in partnership with Auburn, Calif.-based InterMotive Vehicle Controls, the Officer Protection Package is designed to help keep officers safe by alerting them to movement at the rear or side of a parked vehicle that could indicate an ambush. The system is offered free of charge to U.S. law enforcement agencies. One early adopter was the Anaheim (Calif.) Police Department.
“The Officer Protection Package is very important because it promotes officer safety,” said Ron Lindsey, operations superintendent, fleet facility services, City of Anaheim. “We want our officers to go out and come back at the end of their shift safe, sound, and in the same shape they went out with.”
How It Works
Officers driving Dodge Charger Pursuits equipped with the Officer Protection Package can activate the system whenever they are parked by pressing a dedicated auxiliary button on the steering wheel. All four doors must be closed; the front windows can be up or down.
Dodge’s Officer Protection Package uses the 2018 Charger Pursuit’s built-in safety and assistive parking sensors to monitor the surrounding area while officers are occupied.
While the officer is occupied — surveilling the forward area, communicating with a dispatcher, or operating a mobile workstation, for example — InterMotive’s Surveillance Mode Module™ works with Dodge’s Fleet Safety Group technology — ParkSense rear park assist system, ParkView rear backup camera, and Rear Cross Path detection — to monitor the surroundings. The touchscreen, including the industry’s only available Uconnect 21-inch touchscreen option, displays the view from the vehicle backup camera.
When the system is activated, an alert sounds, the doors lock, the front windows roll up, reverse lights turn on, and the taillights begin to flash. The system works even if the officer doesn’t happen to notice an approaching individual.
Police-Tested and -Approved
Officer R.J. Young is a member (alongside his German shepherd partner, Halo) of the Anaheim Police Department’s K-9 unit. Young helped test the Officer Protection System, and he credits Dodge and InterMotive with developing a potentially lifesaving system.
“Prior to getting this car, there were several things that I thought, ‘Man, if they just did this — something for K-9s — it would be awesome,” Young said. “Pretty much all the things that I always said, ‘Hey, I wish someone would do this,’ they pretty much did.”
In a video produced by Dodge, Officer Young demonstrates how the system works. Miming the operation of a center console-mounted terminal, he notes the rearview camera feed is firmly within his peripheral vision thanks to the Charger Pursuit’s oversized display.
“So as you’re typing here, you can see something move. … It at least allows you to go, ‘Wait, what was that?’”
As director of InterMotive Vehicle Controls, Marc Ellison said his company worked closely with Dodge to develop a module tailored to the Charger Pursuit and effective at enhancing officer safety.
“Really the main reason for wanting the Officer Protection Program is it provides an extra sense of security,” Ellison said. “Surveillance Mode, specifically, may give that officer an extra couple of seconds to react to somebody walking up from behind or the side of the vehicle.”