The Ford Ranger ute is heading out on patrol

Victoria Police announced it will add 280 Ford Rangers to its fleet of police vehicles, which are due to start hitting the streets this month.

The Ranger utes have been converted into divisional vans, with a custom made custody compartment replacing the open tray area. Ford says the custody area is a secure two-person transfer unit that has both airconditioning and video surveillance.

The Ford Ranger divisional van will start to hit the streets this week.
The Ford Ranger divisional van will start to hit the streets this week.

Some other upgrades to the stock Ranger include a more refined and integrated fitment for police equipment, driver impairment monitor, constant video display in the rear-view mirror, and integrated controls in the dashboard for improved accessibility according to Victoria Police.

The roll-out of the new Ranger police vehicles is a win for Ford Australia's Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) team, which had a large input in helping customising the vehicle for the Victorian Police.

And Ford also collaborated with Aussie outfit Centaur, which designed and built the rear custody area, to help integrate the custom fitting seamlessly.

Simone Crankshaw, SVE Ranger and Everest Program Management Supervisor says: "Design and development of the Ford Ranger is led in Australia, and this Ford Ranger-based divisional van offers Victoria Police high levels of active and passive safety and the peace of mind that it can handle whatever is thrown at it. We're positive Victoria Police officers will enjoy driving it."

Ford’s Ranger is heading out on patrol.
Ford’s Ranger is heading out on patrol.

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Command, Deb Robertson, says the Rangers are up to the task of policing.

"Our frontline officers rely on divisional vans to provide the safest mode of transport for their duties, be durable and equipped for modern policing.

"We were pleased to find a manufacturer that could make major enhancements and modifications to one of their vehicles to purpose-build them for our operational use and to also meet our fleet safety policy," says Acting Assistant Commissioner Robertson.

The majority of the vehicles will be based on the Ranger XLT Super Cab version, which normally costs about $62,000 drive-away for private buyers.

Ford Ranger divisional van Victoria Police vehicle.
Ford Ranger divisional van Victoria Police vehicle.

Power comes from either a 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit making 147kW and 470Nm or a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel unit making 157kW and 500Nm.

The police vehicles are fitted with all the latest safety equipment including auto emergency braking and lane keep assist.

The current Ford Ranger is coming to the end of its life cycle and is due to be replaced next year.

Originally published as Australia's newest police car revealed