Police vehicle shortages were a hot topic in 2022 amongst the law enforcement community, and these shortages are likely to continue for at least a good portion of 2023. Supply chain issues, increased prices, and the unavailability of some products have made it extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies to keep their departments operating safely and efficiently.
Fewer Cars with Smaller Budgets
One of the largest budget items on any department’s list would obviously be vehicles – whether they’re for patrol, dedicated to SWAT, or transportation for detectives, it seems that not one agency has been immune to the shortages and inflated prices of the vehicle market. The Virginia State Police and other Central Virginia law enforcement agencies reported numerous challenges with acquiring new police vehicles, and Ford cancelled all of their orders for 2022 Police Interceptors (WTVR Richmond). These departments were given the option to purchase the new 2023 vehicles, but these new vehicles would come with an approximately $7,000 increase in price. This isn’t an isolated case, and a Ford Authority article reported that police departments around the country are facing similar issues with vehicle orders being canceled. New Orleans and other surrounding police departments were able to successfully overcome some of the vehicle shortages in 2022, but struggled with getting the parts needed to outfit them and were stuck waiting on radios, decals, roll cages, and other vehicle equipment (WWL Radio). With the chip shortage, out-of-budget pricing from the dealers, and even talk of some major manufacturers discontinuing their police line of vehicles altogether, non-standard vehicles have turned into the “go-to” vehicles for departments to keep their fleets at capacity and up-to-date.
Adapting to a New Normal
A large part of a department’s decision to go with any specific vehicle make and model can sometimes be tied to the amount of space available for an officer’s weapons and gear. Depending on an officer’s specialty, there could be a significant amount of extra gear they need to have readily available on a daily basis. An obvious concern when you go from police-rated vehicles that have the storage needs of officers in mind to the civilian equivalent is where and how to efficiently store equipment and weapons. While just having enough vehicles is a bright spot for many departments, secure storage is a must – even if it looks different or space is limited.
Outfitting Standard and Non-Standard Vehicles Alike
Using atypical vehicles doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice secure in-vehicle weapon storage. If you are utilizing a non-standard vehicle and you’re unsure if an AWS product will work, we are able to evaluate your vehicle type and make recommendations on what would work best for you. Estes AWS can even mock-up vehicle setups without a vehicle onsite and provide measurements to determine if our products will fit in your non-standard vehicle.
The universal design of Estes AWS products coupled with their easy installation kits allows them to be easily transferable to various vehicle types, and we already have generic installation kits specifically designed to retrofit non-standard police vehicles. Our Weapon Lockers and Storage Boxes have previously been installed in a wide array of civilian vehicle types – from Dodge Caravans, to Toyota Highlanders, and Jeep Wranglers, just to name a few.
Estes AWS Custom Design Capabilities
If none of our existing Estes AWS products will work for your non-standard vehicle, we also have CAD capabilities and can provide 3D models and drawings to design a completely custom solution for your unique in-vehicle storage needs. If you have a non-standard vehicle and you’re unsure if a product would work or not, we are able to evaluate your vehicle type and make recommendations for what would work best for you. If you need a custom solution for your civilian model, we have the capabilities to take your ideas from design to production, saving you valuable time and money by not settling for another product that may not meet all your storage needs.
Check out our extremely versatile product line!
While the type of vehicle you utilize at your department may change, our commitment to outfitting you with a storage solution to fit your specific needs has not changed. Agencies all across the United States use AWS products for a number of reasons, one of the top being our weapon lockers and storage boxes can service such a long list of standard and non-standard vehicles alike. Contact us today to learn how we can help!