Another design feature that plays to officer's needs is the cockpit's fully integrated, factory-fitted law enforcement equipment. Think about how much stuff you have beside you in your cruiser. At a minimum, the average patrol vehicle today has a laptop computer, light/siren control box and radio. There is also frequently a video-camera system with one or more cameras, a town radio (separate from police bands), a citizen's band radio, a scanner, auxiliary 12V outlets and a cup holder. Plenty of officers I know also have some kind of organizer, or portable desk, to help manage all the paperwork. Thankfully, with more laptops in patrol vehicles and the digitization of reports that accompanies those computers, the amount of paperwork we have to carry and generate is being reduced - slowly.
For those of you who truly enjoy the technological aspect of a new vehicle, the E7 also sports:
- Heads-up display
- Reverse backup camera
- Remote start capability
- Driver specific “intelligent” key
- Automatic license plate recognition system
- Forward Looking Infrared System (FLIR)
Since much of what we do results in putting bad guys in handcuffs and into the backseat, the E7 is equipped with coach rear doors that open opposite the normal direction. These doors allow a greater space to get suspects in and out of the vehicle. That (potentially) means fewer injuries to those suspects who buck at the wrong time as they're going into the backseat.
Since the good folks at Carbon Motors recognize the primary purpose of the police cruiser's backseat, they designed a partition that separates the front and rear passenger compartments. Carbon also realizes that suspects sometimes do unappealing things in our backseats, thus it was designed so patrol officers can hose it out if necessary. The only gaps in the backseat are thin slots where the seatbelts go in and out; that means there's no place for suspects to hide anything we might miss (yes, we miss things sometimes) during a search prior to transport.
So, let's quickly recap: Integrated lighting, officer safety protections, super cool integrated technology, a space custom-designed to make our prisoners safe and comfortable, and better mileage than the competition. The only thing not specified is pricing, but if they can keep that within competitive limits, I'd say Carbon Motors has a winner on its hands.
Retired Lt. Frank Borelli is the editor-in-chief for Officer.com. Pulling on his seven years of military service and more than 20 years of police experience, he stays active in police work, training and writing.