Ford Authority

Fort Bragg PD Getting Used To Ford F-150 Lightning SSV Fleet

While demand for the Ford F-150 Lightning has tapered off following a hot start in the retail market, The Blue Oval has even bigger hopes when it comes to the commercial side of the business. There – or specifically, in the law enforcement business – Ford has enjoyed tremendous success over the years, and added an all-electric option for police departments in the summer of 2022 with the new Ford F-150 Lightning SSV. The Fort Bragg Police Department in Northern California has been using an array of Ford F-150 Lightning SSV pickups for some time now, and it seems as if the migration to EVs is going well thus far.

Ford Bragg Police Department Ford F-150 Lightning SSV - Exterior 003 - Rear Three Quarters

Though it touts a population of just 6,900 residents, Fort Bragg also attracts a bevy of tourists during certain times of the year, and yet, has just 17 officers in its police department. It also has eight marked vehicles in its fleet, and decided back in the fall of 2022 that it would replace half of them with the Ford F-150 Lightning SSV. In doing so, Fort Bragg PD became a very early adopter in that regard, though Police Chief Neil Cervenka notes that this particular model was a great fit.

“I’d never used a pickup for patrol work, nor had any of the officers in Fort Bragg, but it made sense for many reasons,” Cervenka said. “The rugged coastline of California often calls for four-wheel drive, and the truck’s high ground clearance, ample frunk, and towing capabilities make it a good fit for day-to-day police work in Fort Bragg. We’re a small city, and it’s common for officers to drive the truck for two or three 12-hour shifts without needing to recharge them.”

Ford Bragg Police Department Ford F-150 Lightning SSV - Exterior 002 - Front Three Quarters

Officers are able to plug in their Ford F-150 Lightning SSV pickups at home and fully charge them overnight, while the department itself is planning to install Level 2 and Level 3 chargers at its headquarters once those parts become available. Officers recently discovered the big difference in charging speeds between those units and Level 1 chargers during a road trip to Sacramento, however. “The difference between a Level 3 and Level 1 charger is huge, and knowing how to find each one is important,” Cervenka noted. Regardless, the pilot is going well enough that Fort Bragg PD plans on adding a fifth Lightning to its fleet soon, as it has already ordered that new pickup.

For now at least, the Ford F-150 Lightning SSV is The Blue Oval’s only official police vehicle, though several other departments around the globe have already begun upfitting the Ford Mustang Mach-E for those purposes as well. With commercial demand for EVs proving stronger than expected, the automaker remains focused on building and selling larger, work-oriented EVs for now, which are more viable in that space.

We’ll have more on the F-150 Lightning Pro SSV soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 newsF-150 Lightning news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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