Dodge's latest police car uses radar, sensors to prevent ambushes

Extra situational awareness is always a good idea.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok

Police cars are as old as cars themselves, but they're always relying on new technology to improve. Dodge's latest update should give police officers an additional sense of safety.

Effective immediately, all 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit sedans will come equipped with the Officer Protection Package. It uses the car's backup camera and sensors to determine if someone is sneaking around the back of the car. It can prevent an ambush or just let an officer know someone is approaching the vehicle.

2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit
Enlarge Image
2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit

Making new use of standard equipment.


It's an excellent use of civilian technology for an alternate purpose. Backup cameras and rear parking sensors are both important systems in modern cars, and if Dodge can take a car already equipped with these systems and use them for something new, it provides benefits without the drawback of extra development costs.

All a department needs to do is add a separate module, which plugs into the OBDII diagnostics port under the dashboard. From there, hitting a single button activates the system. Whenever the system is activated, the backup sensors will be on, and whenever something crosses behind the car, a chime will sound inside the car as the doors lock and the windows roll up.

While it's available immediately for 2017 Charger Pursuit orders, it doesn't appear that it will be retroactively applied to outstanding orders.

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