Ford’s all-new 2020 civilian Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility (PIU) has taken the market by storm with the standard Hybrid PIU capitalizing on the previous generation PIU’s success. The drastic changes to the 2020 PIU were literally segment-changing. So significant was the new PIU that Ford currently provides roughly two-thirds of all police vehicles in North America. So other than a new exterior color option called “Carbonized Gray,” and the deletion of the NorSea Blue paint color, the 2021 Police Interceptor Utility (PIU) and Expedition SSV both figure to carry over mostly unchanged for the 2021 model year. Which is not a surprise, as Ford’s popularity with police departments remains high.
For the Transit Van Prisoner Transport Vehicle, the only noticeable change is that this vehicle is moving to a new honeycomb grille as standard, replacing the current three-bar grille.
The Responder Hybrid Sedan ( Fusion) is no longer offered for 2021 as production of the civilian Fusion ended for 2020.
The F-150 Responder ( Pursuit Rated) pickup will obviously be updated with the arrival of the new 2021 retail F-150 but so far, nothing has been publicly released on this pursuit-rated pickup. We are hopeful to hear news by the end of 2020.
Ford has already started to reveal its all-new F-150 Special Service Vehicle (SSV), the latest in a portfolio of law enforcement and municipal vehicles trusted by cities and states across the country. Ford has been the best-selling police vehicle in law enforcement and the clear leader with officers everywhere. The all-new F-150 SSV is purpose-built to serve the community in supporting non-pursuit roles where trailering, payload, and utility are mission critical.
The all-new Ford F-150 SSV helps fire departments, city public works departments, and law enforcement agencies serve their communities better. The available class-exclusive 3.5-liter PowerBoost ™ hybrid engine offers improved fuel economy and the opportunity to reduce engine idle times, as well as the uptime-improving technology of over-the-air updates.
F-150 SSV provides power, towing, and payload capacity to meet the specialized needs of these unique deployments. The SSV is designed to be upfit-ready to support emergency lighting, radios, computers, and other onboard electrical equipment. Standard features include a column shifter, heavy-duty cloth front seats with no center seat section or console, vinyl rear seat, vinyl flooring, and a 240-amp alternator.
“We build the F-150 SSV specifically to support the behind-the-scenes work Law Enforcement and city agencies do every day to keep communities running smoothly,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “You might find our SSV towing boats for waterfront patrols or hauling firefighters and gear off-road during wildfire events. It is a great tool for getting work done and the new capabilities built into our truck expand its capability.”
The all-new F-150 has the most available towing, payload, torque, and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. It introduces all-new features to increase officer productivity, has new connected vehicle innovations such as over-the-air updates that help keep F-150 at the forefront of purposeful technology, and offers an available all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost ™ full hybrid powertrain.
The all-new F-150 SSV starts with a durable, proven foundation, a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body. F-150 SSV is available in F-150 XL SuperCrew configuration, with the option of the 5.0L V8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost ® V6, or all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full hybrid engine, either a 4×4 or 4×2 drivetrain, and available FX4 Off-Road Package. A high-output 240-amp alternator on gas engine options replaces the stock unit to meet the demands for additional onboard electrical power. On the 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid, the lithium-ion hybrid battery supplies power to on-board accessories even when the gas engine is off, leading to reduced engine idle times and potential fuel savings.
F-150 SSV includes an all-new interior with a standard column shifter, heavy-duty cloth front seats with no center seat section or console, vinyl rear seat, and vinyl floors. These features are designed for the hard-wearing requirements and easy cleanup required by government agencies. The interior is configured to allow custom upfits for aftermarket consoles, computers, and other equipment used in everyday duties.
In addition to the 5.0-liter V8 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, Ford is proud to offer the all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid targeted to deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup and at least 12,000 pounds of maximum towing. PowerBoost has been tested extensively to support sustained usage in extreme temperatures or under heavy loads. It combines Ford’s proven EcoBoost engine and 10-speed SelectShift ® automatic transmission with the instant low-end torque of a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the transmission. The electric motor also captures energy through its regenerative braking system to help recharge the 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, which is efficiently packaged underneath so the cab and cargo box is unimpeded by the system, resulting in no loss of passenger or cargo space.
Power is not only important under the hood. Available Pro Power Onboard expands F-150 SSV’s capability by bringing generator levels of exportable power. Pro Power Onboard is available with a 2.0-kilowatt output for gas-only engines, while PowerBoost-equipped F-150 comes standard with 2.4 kilowatts of output or an optional 7.2 kilowatts of output. Power is accessible through in-cabin outlets and up to four cargo-bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets, with a 240-volt 30-amp outlet on the 7.2-kilowatt version. The system even provides power on the move to charge handheld radio, laptop, phone, or tool batteries.
Every 2021 F-150 SSV comes standard with new cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate that act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed. New clamp pockets are built in to the tailgate of every truck, so materials can be held in place. An available flat Tailgate Work Surface also includes integrated rulers, mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder.
The 2021 F-150 SSV offers available Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Trailer Reverse Guidance, made popular on Super Duty, uses the truck’s high-resolution cameras to provide multiple views along with helpful graphics that tell drivers which way to turn the steering wheel while backing up. Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a dial, continues on F-150.
The 2021 F-150 represents Ford’s next big step in bringing connected vehicles to fleets. It is North America’s first full-size pickup with standard over-the-air updates, helping trucks stay at the forefront of purposeful technology. These updates are bumper-to-bumper, and can include all-new functions and additional features throughout the life of the truck. They can support preventative maintenance, reduce repair trips, provide improved performance, and ultimately result in more vehicle uptime. The majority of updates will be completed in under two minutes and can be performed at times fleet managers choose, so they will not have to put work on hold.
Available new Ford Telematics ™ and Ford Data Services ™ provides an array of connectivity tools designed to help fleet managers minimize vehicle downtime and increase vehicle uptime.
An 8-inch center touchscreen is standard for better rearview camera vision and easy access to the digital owner’s manual, which can help operators find the information they need more easily, including how-to videos for additional explanation. All-new SYNC ® 4 is standard, helping minimize distractions with hands-free voice control as well as core features such as the capability to make phone calls and enable audible text dictation.
All-new F-150 offers the latest driver-assist features as part of available Ford Co-Pilot360 ™ 2.0. More features are now standard on XL, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection to help avoid a possible collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, auto high-beam headlamps, and auto on/off headlamps.
Every F-150 SSV is assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, MI, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO, and the order banks are open now.

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The Dodge Police Program has been very successful in the normally Ford-dominated world of Law Enforcement. Dodge has carved itself a nice slice of the Police pie with the Charger and Durango Pursuit vehicles. Selling out the 2020 Charger sedan production was very significant, as the Charger now stands as the only pursuit-rated full-size sedan left in the Police market space.
For 2021, both the sedan and SUV receive a handful of significant updates, and the order banks are now open; however, the two vehicles will have staggered production starts. Both of these vehicles are equipped with new transmissions and high-tech options designed to enhance officer safety, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency.
“Designed and built based on input from our Police Advisory Board and direct officer feedback, the 2021 Dodge Charger and Durango Pursuit deliver on our promise to offer police agencies the most advanced law-enforcement vehicle lineup in the industry, whether as a sedan or a sport-utility vehicle,” said Head of U.S. Sales Jeff Kommor.
Dodge is making the company’s TorqueFlight eight-speed automatic gearbox available to both powertrains it offers in the Charger. Dodge is offering a new V6 with all-wheel drive and the Hemi V8 in a rear-wheel-drive setup. Dodge is somewhat protective when it comes to the specific details of each powertrain, but recent product info suggests that for 2021, the Pentastar is now rated at 300HP compared to 292HP in the 2020 model, and torque is now 264lb-ft compared to 260lb-ft last year. Dodge does say both powertrains exceed the acceleration, braking, and handling profiles of the previous vehicle. To enhance these powertrains even further, the engineers have also included a new updated and unique ESC tuning calibration that will enhance the performance of the Charger and Durango Pursuit.
Every Law Enforcement Fleet Manager knows the real test of these changes will be when MSP and LASD put all three OEM police vehicles through their annual vehicle testing in September and October.
Other new standard features include a top speed setting of 140 mph with the ability for Fleet Managers to configure and limit top speed for specific agency needs, electric power steering, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an increased Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 5,500 pounds to accommodate additional payload.

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The 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit will offer more than 20 new standard features. The AWD Durango Pursuit is powered by the standard 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine or the optional legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, both mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. Same as the Charger, the engineers have also included a new updated and unique “police” ESC tuning calibration that will enhance the performance of the Durango.
Other notable improvements include an IP-mounted shift lever to free up valuable space in the center console area. This is a very big deal, because not having the shifter on the steering column was a showstopper for some agencies, which forced them to consider one of the other pursuit-rated SUVs. This move also allows agencies to transfer equipment from one vehicle to another as the older Durangos required a unique center console that had to be specially made to allow space for the shifter, but not anymore.
In keeping with tradition, the Durango Pursuit has the black steel wheels with chrome center caps, steering wheel-mounted programmable auxiliary switches, and police-specific front seats to accommodate duty belts and enable easier access to seat-belt latch points.
“These features, such as the new IP-mounted shift lever, free up valuable space between the front seats to accommodate the police aftermarket equipment needed for the officers to accomplish their jobs,” Kommor said.
Other key features now being offered are the upfit-friendly Vehicle Systems Interface Module, which allows much simpler and faster connectivity to OEM electrical systems for customizing police-only features such as lighting and battery protection, and safety features. The vehicle systems interface module features a radio mute input, pulse-width modulation vehicle speed output, reverse position output, and drive position output.
The heavy-duty BR9 brake package is a must with the Durango Pursuit along with standard vinyl flooring and a tri-zone climate control system designed with K-9 units in mind. The Durango Pursuit has a top speed setting of 130 mph with the ability for customers to configure and limit for specific agency needs. Agencies that wish to deploy unmarked units will have several new color options available as well.
For agencies that prefer the “ Fleet Key Alike,” this feature is available on both the 2021 Charger and Durango Pursuit and is compatible between both models.
As for OEM multimedia systems, arguably one of the best on the market is the available Uconnect ® 12.1-inch touchscreen, which allows integration of law enforcement systems while relocating the agency computer to the trunk for optimal space savings. It is designed to be operated with gloves and in extreme temperatures while maintaining unrestricted access to vehicle controls.
Production of the 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit starts in the first quarter of 2021 at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. The Dodge Police Program will still have the Ram 1500 SSV for 2021. It is a carryover with no changes, but for 2021, they will also offer a Ram HD SSV package as well.

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For 2021, the GM Police and Law Enforcement lineup includes the pursuit-rated Tahoe PPV, Tahoe SSV, and Silverado SSV.
After the release of the all-new 2021 retail Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade lineup, the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) remains the only pursuit-rated body on frame Police SUV still on the market since the competition no longer uses body on frame. Available in either 2WD or 4WD, the Tahoe PPV has an entire host of safety features like Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Emergency Braking.
The 2021 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle has been engineered and built to meet the extensive needs of today’s law enforcement community. Using the redesigned retail 2021 Chevy Tahoe as its foundation, Tahoe PPV features all the performance of its predecessor, with a smooth ride, greater interior space, larger load capacity ( GVWR), and new towing technology. The big news is a new independent rear suspension, which promises improvements in ride quality and handling.
The Tahoe PPV model will come with standard Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, pursuit-rated all-season tires that GM developed alongside Firestone, and a heavy-duty braking system with Brembo six-piston front calipers and 16-inch rotors. A heavy-duty rear differential and lower, more stiffly sprung suspension complete the pursuit-focused performance add-ons.
Inside, an ergonomic design tailored to officers makes entry and exit easier while the police-specific seats are contoured to accommodate duty belts. Plus, extensive electrical architecture featuring updated wiring harnesses simplifies upfitting in both the front row and cargo areas. To power onboard electronics, both the Tahoe PPV and SSV will come with a 760-amp auxiliary battery and a new high-output alternator that is 47 percent more powerful than the one found in the 2020 model.
Available second-row seat delete reduces cost, while officers will have improved situational awareness with greater views thanks to larger dimensions and a higher roofline. Increased trailering capacity up to 6,000 pounds for 2WD and optional 4WD to help eliminate the need for a dedicated towing vehicle. The Tahoe remains one of the most popular SUVs for K9 units, and the improved ergonomics that will help officers get in and out of the vehicle quickly will be especially beneficial for K9 officers. Specifically useful for K9, the rear door openings are 3.5 inches wider than the previous generation to make K9 deployments faster and safer but will also assist with the loading of suspects who may not be as cooperative as they should be.
The Tahoe SSV is not pursuit-rated but is one of the few 4X4 Special Service Vehicles with available Off Road Suspension Package and Off Road tires. It carries a maximum payload of 1,670 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 8,400 pounds. These units are typically used for agencies that deploy in rural areas where pursuits are usually never on a paved surface and the ability to overcome difficult terrain is paramount to the deployment, more so than top speed and racetrack-like handling.
The Silverado SSV is GM’s Police pickup and while not pursuit-rated like its Ford counterpart, it is a very rugged alternative for Law Enforcement. The Silverado SSV carries the honor to be the only Police pickup that comes with factory-installed, warrantied spot lamps and available wiring provisions agency install. The steel body architecture and bed with hinged aluminum doors and hood offer the best combination of durability and fuel economy.
Both the general-purpose Tahoe PPV and off-road-focused Tahoe SSV are powered by GM’s 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine in the PPV model benefits from LT4 V8 rocker covers, which improve crankcase ventilation, along with a heavy-duty oil cooling system developed specifically for Law Enforcement applications.
Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 30-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He was an eight-year member of the Ford Police Advisory Board and regularly gives presentations at law enforcement conferences on mobile computing, wireless technology and police vehicle ergonomics. He can be reached at sgt1411@gmail.com.
– Photos courtesy of Brad Brewer