Ford Motor Co. and New York State Senator Nicholas Spano announced on August 7 a step to protect police officers. During the 2005-model year, Ford plans to offer a fire suppression system as a factory option on Crown Victoria Police Interceptors.The announcement is part of an approach by Ford and the law enforcement community to reduce the risk of fire-related injuries to police officers from high-speed, high-energy rear crashes.In recent months, Ford and representative members of the law enforcement community formed a Blue Ribbon Panel and Technical Task Force to reduce the risks faced by police officers in highway stops. Law enforcement personnel, independent experts, component suppliers and Ford personnel worked in a number of areas, including improving communications, with a dedicated Web site — www.cvpi.com. The initial results, including the upgrade kit designed to shield the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor’s fuel tank from vehicle components, were announced and published on the website for broad and quick dissemination. Ford has also developed a Trunk Pack(tm) to allow police officers to locate police equipment more safely. In addition, Ford engineers worked with members of the law enforcement community to evaluate alternative traffic stop procedures in a manner that reduces the officer’s exposure to danger. Ford also is encouraging state legislators to pass “move-over” laws in their states to protect officers in their line of duty.Ford is developing the fire suppression system with Aerojet, a supplier for the United States military with the technology initially developed and tested for use in the interior of U.S. military armored personnel vehicles. The system uses advanced electronics and on-board sensors to measure post-impact vehicle movement to determine the optimal time for deployment of the fire suppression material. The system will be integrated into the CVPI’s structure and electrical architecture.