Un-junking agency trunks

Participants in the Law Enforcement Technology "Junk in Your Trunk" program tell how organizers have un-junked their trunks

     "It gets so limited on space in the driver's area that the need for trays has grown considerably," says Sundy. These trays, which Havis produces for Impalas and Chargers as well as Crown Victorias, can hold computers, remote siren control heads and any other electronic equipment that can be remotely mounted outside the passenger cabin.

     The tray will fit the needs of the Lake Mills PD, which currently uses tackle boxes and milk crates to organize smaller items. "We need an organizer that provides easy access for emergency equipment and compartmentalizes the smaller, but still important, items," wrote Officer David Fritsche in his entry submission.

     As with many Havis products, the Trunk Box Organizer originated from a customer request and was then found to meet the needs of many other departments. This trunk system with adjustable compartments will provide organizational enhancement to Capt. Brian Anspach of the Columbia City PD, who stores "everything from stuffed animals to guns in the trunk of my car," he says.

     All of the awarded products are designed for no-holes-drilled application when possible, and Sundy estimates that someone with basic mechanics skills and tools can install the radio tray, guard and/or trunk box within 20 minutes in a Crown Vic.

     When deciding to purchase a trunk organization system, Sundy recommends departments begin by answering the question: What equipment do we want to put in the trunk? "Then I always try to start as small as possible and work our way up as needed," he says. "If they have a little more equipment, we can offer a second-tier shelf. If they have a large amount of equipment, then you would go to the full-width tray. Spending extra time measuring and laying out equipment is time well spent."

     Product: Tactical Storage System for a Crown Vic and patrol SUV

     Recipient Departments: Burleson (Texas) Police Department and University of North Carolina — Greensboro Police Department

     Chris Havens of the Burleson (Texas) Police Department says "he wears many hats" as commander of the Patrol Operations Division. He needs quick access to the gear he carries in his 1999 Chevy Tahoe when he responds to major incidents such as crime scene investigations, shootings, hazmat situations, terrorist attacks and accidents. He says that patrol forms, manuals, guides, hazmat books, as well as traffic control items fill his trunk, and "his SUV is overflowing everywhere!"

     Havens is also a SWAT commander and needs to carry everything from gear bags to less-lethal projectiles, smoke grenades and gas guns. Havens is the winner of the Cusick, Washington-based Kalispel Case Line's TSS (Tactical Storage System) soon to be shipped for installation.

     The TSS features a secure storage solution that can be transferred from one vehicle to another with varying levels of security. Each TSS is custom-made and installed based on the specific dimensions of the vehicle provided by the customer.

     "This particular product line is quite simple," says Al Hague, general manager of Kalispel Case Line. "Our units are strong and secure. Depending on which of the three locking systems they use, they all have different levels of security."

     Hague notes that the all-metal construction, patented drawer system and lifetime warranty make the TSS unique. "We don't use drawer slides," he says. "We have a roller system underneath the drawer which supports the weight much better."

     The TSS has been "put to the test," according to Hague, by government agencies including the U.S. Army, U.S. Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to name a few.

     "These units have been tested by border patrol," Hague says. "Going off-road they don't fall apart, unlike wood that gets bounced around and doesn't work right."

     Product: Crown Vic organizer

     Recipient Departments: City of Coeur D'Alene (Idaho) Police Department

     Tony Woltz of the City of Coeur D'Alene (Idaho) Police Department, says K-9 Officer Buhl is a "down-to-earth, no-nonsense gentleman who doesn't want anything for himself and makes do with what he has without complaint." Woltz nominated this K-9 unit, a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, to help with organization. His mission: To help Buhl un-junk his trunk.

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