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Michigan State Police evaluating cars for 2014
BELDING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan State Police are evaluating police cars for 2014, and this marks the 40th year for vehicle testing.
MSP and Los Angeles County are the only two agencies that test cars throughout the country.
The testing is then published to help thousands of other law enforcement agencies determine what make and model of car is best for them.
The cars took to the track for vehicle testing to help Michigan State Police learn which cars are safest for us and officers on the roads.
For four trained MSP drivers, it's a full day in a week's worth of tests.
The precision driving unit is testing different makes and models on a track at Grattan Raceway in Belding, northeast of Grand Rapids, to see how they'll handle when officers need them out on the road.
"We're testing the true characteristics of the vehicle, how well it handles, and realistic services as if they were involved in an emergency run or high-speed pursuit," explained First Lt. Jim Flegel, the MSP Traffic Services Section Commander.
Traveling at speeds up to 120 miles per hour, the course simulates real-life situations, from blind curves to tight turns.
"It gives them the confidence to know this vehicle handles very well," Lt. Flegel said. "The confidence to brake and accelerate well."
The best lap times are then posted and later studied.
150 agencies, from Utah to South Carolina were on hand, studying qualities from four wheel drive to brake wear and tear.
"We look at all the data and then make a purchasing decision," explained Sgt. Matt Rogers, with the MSP Vehicle Test team.
Once testing is complete, Michigan State Police will spend the next few months compiling data for release online this coming January, to be used by 30,000 other law enforcement agencies throughout the country.