December 11, 2006 , Houston -

Bad guys beware: criminals will now have more trouble eluding law enforcement officers since Shenandoah City Police Department recently made the addition of four rear-wheel-drive 2006 Dodge Chargers to its patrol fleet. Three more are on order and scheduled for delivery in early 2007.

“The Shenandoah Police Department is proud to join local law enforcement departments across the country in adding Dodge Charger police vehicles to our patrol lineup,” said Shenandoah Chief of Police John Chancellor. “With the latest equipment and advances in technology, Shenandoah police will be more capable than ever patrolling our streets and protecting our citizens.”

At the very beginning of the Dodge police vehicle development, specific law enforcement vehicle features and functionality standards were integrated into the design of the Dodge Charger to allow easier installation of aftermarket upfits and additions.

Also, added safety features including all-speed Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Brake Assist and four-wheel Anti-lock Disc Brake System (ABS) aid the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability and control even when driving over uneven surfaces like patchy snow, ice or gravel.

“We tried to create the ideal police vehicle for law enforcement departments to give our police customers an affordable, capable vehicle with industry-leading innovations,” said Roxie Thomas, Senior Manager GSA/Government Sales – Chrysler Group. "In addition, with rear-wheel-drive, ESP control and available HEMI® power, the Dodge Charger provides optimum police car pursuit performance.”

Incidentally there has been another benefit surrounding the delivery of these new vehicles.

“Dodge Charger police vehicles are turning heads everywhere in the community; officers have been approached by curious Shenandoah residents to discuss the new ride,” Chancellor said. “All in all, the public’s response to the vehicle has been very positive.”

Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation Program
Shenandoah considered purchasing Dodge Charger police vehicles after a positive vehicle reception at the Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation Program. This benchmark program sets the standard for police departments across the U.S. when ordering new fleet vehicles.

For two years running, Dodge Charger police vehicles have met and often exceeded requirements of those tests which included a series of grueling on-road exercises that evaluated acceleration, top speed, braking and vehicle dynamics.

Out of the 16 police vehicles tested, top results for Dodge police vehicles included: 

  • Dodge Charger 5.7-liter HEMI posted best-in-class top speed of over 145 mph 
  • Dodge Charger 5.7-liter HEMI and Dodge Magnum 5.7-liter HEMI posted first and second place in acceleration times 
  • Dodge Magnum 5.7-liter HEMI and Dodge Charger 5.7-liter HEMI posted first and second place in  vehicle dynamics testing 
  • Dodge vehicles secured the first four places in braking distance; with the Dodge Magnum 3.5-liter V-6 and Dodge Charger 3.5-liter V-6 coming in first and second and the Dodge Magnum 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and Dodge Charger 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 placing third and fourth 
  • In addition, the Magnum 3.5-liter V-6 and Dodge Charger 3.5-liter V-6 posted best-in-class fuel economy in the city with 19 miles per gallon (mpg)

Shenandoah joins other leading U.S. cities updating their police patrols with Dodge police vehicles including: Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia; Richland, Miss.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Seattle.

Police Car Heritage
The former Chrysler Corporation dominated the police car business throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and early ‘80s, with U.S. market shares ranging from 45-60 percent. Police vehicles manufactured by the former Chrysler Corporation included: the Dodge Monaco, Dodge Royal Monaco, Dodge Coronet, Dodge Diplomat, Dodge Dart, Dodge St. Regis, Plymouth Fury, Plymouth Gran Fury, Plymouth Volare and Chrysler Newport.

Recently, Dodge returned to the police car market after a 12-year hiatus with the 2002 Dodge Intrepid. The front-wheel drive Dodge Intrepid earned a 4 percent share of the approximately 70,000 unit U.S. market. That vehicle was phased out of production in 2003.

In the fall of 2004, Dodge previewed the 2005 Dodge Magnum as a special service police vehicle, offering enhanced rear-wheel-drive performance and handling with a spacious, flexible interior. The 2006 Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum police vehicles were introduced in the spring of 2005 as full-service police pursuit units.

Dodge Brand
With a U.S. market share of approximately 6 percent, Dodge is Chrysler Group's best-selling brand and the fifth-largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2005, Dodge sold more than 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percent U.S. market share and maintains a 15 percent share of the highly competitive truck market. In 2006, the Dodge Caliber has led the brand’s expansion to markets outside of North America.