Sys­tem saves thou­sands by stop­ping idling po­lice cars

En­ergy Xtreme’s prod­uct could help en­vi­ron­ment and tax­pay­ers’ wal­lets

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mon­ica Sager msager@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

You drive by a po­lice car on the high­way. While you may think twice about the speed you’re go­ing, chances are you’re not think­ing about the idling sys­tem in the po­lice car.

“If you have to con­stantly turn your car off and turn off your sys­tem, you have to log back on,” Pottstown Po­lice Chief Richard Drumheller said. “Some­times it’s just eas­ier (to keep the sys­tem run­ning).”

Po­lice cars run con­tin­u­ously to keep their sys­tems ready at all times. This can be from pro­longed pe­ri­ods on the high­way, to wait­ing at a crime scene, or sim­ply when of­fi­cers are in the of­fice, wait­ing for a call into ac­tion. They do this to keep their com­put­ers, video cam­eras, and much more run­ning. If the car holds Nar­can, it also needs to stay run­ning to keep up a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture.

“We have these things called com­puter data ter­mi­nal (CDT),” said Lim­er­ick Po­lice De­tec­tive Ernie Mor­ris, adding that these sys­tems get “so hot and tax­ing” that they would drain the bat­tery of the cars if the en­gine was not run­ning.

Other than tires, bat­ter­ies are the sec­ond most re­placed piece of a po­lice car, ac­cord­ing to West Pottsgrove Po­lice Chief Matt Stof­flet.

The prob­lem, though, comes when you think of the ef­fect this has on the en­vi­ron­ment and tax pay­ers’ money for gas ex­penses — not to men­tion fu­el­ing prices are hov­er­ing above $3 now.

But, luck­ily, there is a so­lu­tion. Stealth Power, a ve­hi­cle cus­tomiz­ing com­pany, made a sys­tem that can cut down on fi­nan­cial ex­penses, pol­lu­tion in the air, and wear and tear to the cars’ en­gines.

Their prod­uct, The Stealth Power Law En­force­ment Se­ries, is ba­si­cally a bat­tery pack that is de­signed specif­i­cally to fit into a po­lice cruiser’s trunk. It of­fers re­mote mon­i­tor­ing of the sys­tem, bat­ter­ies and gen­er­a­tor health.

“Any­thing’s pos­si­ble to add,” said Stof­flet, who men­tioned the ad­di­tion of cam­eras and com­put­ers re­cently to po­lice ve­hi­cles.

And in­stal­la­tion is easy. “It lit­er­ally is a plug and place sys­tem,” said Shan­non Sen­tell, COO of Stealth Power.

By be­ing placed in the trunk of a po­lice car, it takes up min­i­mal space and can still power the en­tire elec­tri­cal sys­tem. Mean­ing: lights, ra­dio, lap­top, and cam­era can be pow­ered for up to four hours with­out the car run­ning, which could pre­vent theft of the cars, ac­cord­ing to Stof­flet. It can with­stand gun­shots, and the sys­tem is non-com­bustible and non-haz­ardous.

The Stealth Power Law En­force­ment Se­ries even au­to­mat­i­cally recharges it­self while the car is be­ing driven. And if a po­lice of­fi­cer’s en­gine bat­tery dies, The Stealth Power Law En­force­ment Se­ries can act as a power ig­ni­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Stealth Power, the devel­oper of the idle re­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy, for each hour an am­bu­lance idles, it burns about 1.5 gal­lons of fuel and puts 35-50 miles’ worth of wear-and-tear on the en­gine. In the United States, medi­um­duty trucks use about 2.5 bil­lion gal­lons, or 6.7 per­cent of their to­tal con­sump­tion, of fuel just to idle. This just raises main­te­nance and fuel costs, and it is detri­men­tal to the en­vi­ron­ment. The In­de­pen­dence Pack­age min­i­mizes car­bon diox­ide, ni­tro­gen ox­ide, and other green­house-gas emis­sions. They are re­cy­clable and Cal­i­for­nia Air Re­sources Board (CARB)-ap­proved. In this sense, the sys­tem is cost and en­vi­ron­men­tally ef­fec­tive.

“We see our­selves as a bridge be­tween the cur­rent tech­nol­ogy and the fu­ture,” Sen­tell said.

But on top of all of this, The Stealth Power Law En­force­ment Se­ries has proven it­self. The Dal­las Po­lice Depart­ment used the sys­tem for an av­er­age of 4.85 hours a day over a 30-day pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to Tree Hug­ger. If a depart­ment worked the whole year, 365 days; spent $2.95 per gal­lon of gas, the na­tional av­er­age at the time of writing; and burned a gal­lon of gas per hour per idling ve­hi­cle, which ac­cord­ing to AAA is a “good rule of thumb” for idling cars: they would save about $14.31 a day in fuel costs, to­tal­ing $5,222.24 per year per ve­hi­cle.

“If it’s cost sav­ing, I don’t see a prob­lem with it,” Drumheller said.

The Dal­las Po­lice Depart­ment also elim­i­nated about 72.75 pounds of car­bon diox­ide per ve­hi­cle each day.

“Any sys­tem that is ben­e­fi­cial to our po­lice, to the en­vi­ron­ment, to our ser­vices, is a plus,” Stof­flet said.

In­ter­est­ingly enough, Pottstown po­lice al­ready have a sim­i­lar sys­tem called a green bat­tery, ac­cord­ing to Drumheller. It’s an ad­di­tional bat­tery that charges while you drive. Though, it takes some hits es­pe­cially in the win­ter when flash­lights and other sys­tems be­come more needed. And it isn’t al­ways used by the po­lice cars.

“We have some old cars and they sim­ply don’t hand well with turn­ing them off and turn­ing them on, so we just let them on,” Drumheller said.

The Stealth Power Law En­force­ment, though, would ap­pear to work bet­ter than a green bat­tery. How­ever, all of this may still be tax­ing on smaller po­lice de­part­ments.

“If it costs more money and there’s not a spe­cific way to re­cu­per­ate that money,” Mor­ris said, “I don’t think peo­ple will use it...Most of the time it’s bud­get, bud­get, bud­get.”

Stof­flet agreed too, say­ing that the West Pottsgrove Po­lice does not cur­rently have the bud­get for such a pur­chase, but that he “would say any­thing’s pos­si­ble.”

MON­ICA SAGER — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Po­lice cars of­ten idle, harm­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and us­ing up money. A com­pany is of­fer­ing a so­lu­tion.

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