Belvidere Police Department Now Backed by More Muscle and Safety Features

2006 Dodge Charger Police Vehicles Join Local Patrol Lineup as New Law Enforcement Vehicle of Choice

* Belvidere Police Department will now have superior handling characteristics and modern muscle available for street patrol
* Cars equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) are 35 percent less likely to be involved in a collision, says the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA)


Belvidere, Ill., Nov 28, 2006 – Bad guys beware: Criminals will now have more trouble eluding law enforcement officers since the Belvidere Police Department recently added six rear-wheel-drive 2006 Dodge Charger 3.5-liter V-6 police vehicles to its patrol fleet.

“The Belvidere Police Department is proud to join local law enforcement departments across the country in adding Dodge Charger police vehicles to our patrol lineup,” said Jan Noble, Chief of Police – City of Belvidere. “After viewing several makes and models of police vehicles, it was a natural choice to select a vehicle brand with ties as close to this community as the long-standing relationship with the Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant.”

Although the Dodge police vehicles are not produced at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, the manufacturing facility is responsible for output of the highly popular Dodge Caliber, Jeep® Compass and the soon-to-arrive Jeep Patriot.

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 vehicle to allow for 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 Tricia Llewellyn, Midwest Government & Alternative Fuel Sales Manager – Chrysler Group. “In addition, with rear-wheel drive and ESP control, the Dodge Charger police vehicle 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 Belvidere residents to discuss the new ride,” said Frederic Brereton, Mayor – City of Belvidere. “All in all, the public’s response to the vehicle has been very positive.”

Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation Program
The Belvidere Police Department 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 and Dodge Magnum 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 Magnum 3.5-liter V-6 and Charger 3.5-liter V-6 coming in first and second and the Magnum 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and Charger 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 placing third and fourth
* In addition, the Dodge 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)

Belvidere joins other leading U.S. cities updating their police patrols with Dodge police vehicles, including Denver, Colo.; Forth Worth, Texas; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Richland, Miss.; Scottsdale, Ariz. and Seattle, Wash.

Belvidere Assembly Plant
The Chrysler Group is the city of Belvidere’s largest employer and has a significant impact on the community with 3,400 employees throughout Illinois who generate $188 million in annual wages (year-end 2005). Union members are represented by United Auto Worker’s Union Locals 1268 and 1761. The plant began production of the Plymouth Fury and Doge Monaco in 1965.

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.

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 six 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.


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