One of the worst situations an officer can find him or herself in is being ambushed from the side or rear while they are in their patrol car. Dodge has announced the installation of the “Officer Protection Package”, developed in collusion with an Auburn, CA-based company, InterMotive Vehicle Controls. This system is designed to alert the officer when there is movement behind or to the sides of their cruiser while it parked.
Movements like these could well be an indication of someone trying to sneak up on the car and ambush the officer(s) inside. While the system is currently being offered to every law enforcement agency in the country, one of the earliest departments to take advantage of this offer was the Anaheim, CA Police Department.
How the System Works
This system is designed to be turned on by the officer when his vehicle is parked. It is easily turned on by a single steering wheel mounted switch. The only other requirement is that all four of the cruiser’s doors must be closed. The front windows can be in any position.
The idea is that whether the officer is involved in surveillance, is talking to dispatch or sitting watching traffic, he has a helping hand to keep him safe. When equipped with InterMotive’s Surveillance Mode Module™ working in tandem with Dodge’s Fleet Safety Group technology including the ParkView® rearview camera, ParkSense® rear parking assistance system and Rear Cross Path detection system, a full view of the back of the car and sides is displayed on a massive 21-inch touchscreen (the largest in the industry).
In the event the system detects movement, the doors are locked, windows roll up automatically, an alert is sounded, the taillights begin to flash, and the reverse lights come on. The best part of this system is that as long as the officer turns it on, the system will spring into action, even if the officer is not paying attention to what’s going on around him.
Offers a Few Seconds of Extra Reaction Time
While this system is not designed to prevent an assailant from trying to sneak up on the officer and attack them, it does have one very important role. This is to provide the officer(s) in the vehicle with what may only be a few extra seconds of extra time to react. This may be all the time a trained officer needs to be able to see what is going on behind his cruiser on the massive screen. The extra time may give the officer a chance to prepare him or herself for what is coming and at to be in a better position to react to it.
This can be enough time to protect the officer from injury or death and at the same time give them enough time to apprehend the potential assailant. This is a win-win situation and should be installed in every police cruiser in the country, giving officers just a little bit more of a sense of security in what is rapidly becoming a very dangerous work environment.