Duuunn dun…duuunnn dun….dun dun dun
Hopefully you uncovered the ominous Jaw’s theme song I am trying to portray here. This week’s topic covers the keys to a covert police vehicle build. Keeping these up-fits as stealth as possible can be a challenging task, but if anyone can do it’s our expert team here at KELTEK. Here are my 3 Keys to a covert police vehicle up-fit…
I am the sales engineer here at KELTEK. I am usually called upon when we encounter a build request that is unique or difficult to solve — I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years. The main difference between a regular build and covert is to make the car as inconspicuous as possible — this presents a unique challenge when trying to conceal lights, antennas, etc.
If we do our job right however, the finished product will be so well camouflaged that our customer’s have said, “Some speeders and other traffic offenders often don’t know we’re behind them until they see my flashing police lights hidden in the grill.” (hence the Jaw’s joke)
1 – Lights
The most challenging component to a covert build is keeping all the lights hidden. Covert builds don’t usually take as long, but it gets time consuming to find places where lights are hidden away, but visible.
On the up-fit pictured below, we put the lights in behind the grill, at the top ridge of the windshield, and along the running boards, but the placement of lights is dependent on the vehicle.
The light-bar product that is used can be customized, although we try to stick to what we know and trust. This project called for a Whelen Low Current Inner Edge.
2 – Antennas
Another thing not often considered are the antennas used for equipment connectivity, these are not the same antennas as on a factory or standard car build. These vehicles need to be connected to the internet, running their mobile routers to connect to Toughbook®️ laptops, body worn cameras, in car cameras, and more. The Antennas are hidden to look like the general public’s car antennas, although they have much more capability.
3 – Switches & Buttons
Where I would normally use a traditional slide switch for a trigger, in covert I use a hand held switch, so the officers are able to slide it into a cubby and hide it away.
Rocker buttons in a covert build are narrowed down to only two buttons, siren and lights. There is also ways of hiding any rocker buttons, for example, the rocker buttons can be hid up in the compartment between the sun visors.
At KELTEK we will usually recommend CanTrol®️, CenCom Carbide™️, or CenCom Sapphire™️, for power control, on account of the department deciding to use these products in another future build or switching their covert to a traditional police vehicle they’ll have equipment that is easily transferable.
Our installers also make sure the equipment within the car is stored away from passengers. Below you will see the power management system hidden away, as well as the equipment tray.
The power management system is stored within the back passenger seat.
The equipment tray is hidden under the back passenger seat.
This is my favorite kind of build because I love the challenge. If you have a covert up-fit need in the near future please contact us at KELTEK. I would love to help plan your custom covert up-fit and get your shark in the water!
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