The AHB Police Special Package was the inspiration for the 1:60 diecast Sheriff Jeeps from Majorette. It featured suspension and electrical upgrades to the Jeep Cherokee, and the top speed limiter removed to allow the 4.0L inline 6-cylinder engine to make use of the 120MPH speedometer.
The early Chrysler demo seen here was photographed at an auto show.
The AHB package was introduced on the XJ in 1992, and Chrysler's advertising announced that "The Bloodhound Just Became Obsolete." A later slogan is seen in a trade-magazine advertisement here.
The photo in this ad was Photoshopped differently for the cover of a Cherokee Police Special Service Package brochure (50K JPEG.)
Available in 2-door or 4-door, and 2WD or 4WD, the package included gas shocks, thicker sway bars, anti-lock brakes, column shift automatic transmission, and transmission cooler. It became a very successful fleet vehicle, although some police departments preferred to buy more basic Cherokees and equip them to their own specs. The package was also purchased on some Cherokees in the Fire Service.
Penn Township Police in Pennsylvania have their late-model XJ in classic black & white (2001 photo by Mike Albright). The front licence plate carries the D.A.R.E. logo.
An XJ set up as a sportier D.A.R.E. vehicle (60K JPEG) was photographed for Emergency Vehicles in a parade in Peru, Indiana.
Dodge, Plymouth & Chrysler Police Cars 1979-1994 by Edwin J. Sanow and John L. Bellah with Galen Govier (1996, Motorbooks International) tells the interesting story of the 1992 debut of the Cherokee police package in the standardized tests of squad cars by the Michigan State Police. In acceleration, braking and on a road course, the AHB Cherokee (left) amazed many cops by equalling or outperforming popular V8-powered squad cars such as the Crown Victoria and Caprice.
The Cherokee returned to the MSP tests the following year, and performed even better. It also faced competition from another 4x4 vehicle there for the first time in 1993, and blew away the Ford Explorer.
The kind of performance and ergonomics demonstrated in the Michigan tests led many police forces to order the Cherokee on that basis. But northern and rural areas in particular found a 4x4 squad vehicle valuable for dealing with rough terrain and winter weather. Northern Michigan University Public Safety was way ahead of the AHB package when they bought this 1987 Jeep.
Base-level steel wheels with heavy-duty Goodyear P225/70HR15 tires were standard in the police package, but Pembroke, Ontario has an XJ with sportier wheels that help make it look pretty sharp with its red and blue stripes (2003 photo). This one is probably an off-the-lot model rather than a package.
Also seen on the road in Ontario was this Provincial Police XJ (60K JPEG) complete with front bumperettes (2001 photo by Jarek Skonieczny.)
Snow is a less common problem in Alabama, but the City of Gadsden clearly also finds the four-wheel drive useful for giving vehicles a push when necessary. They equipped their CAPP Force XJ with substantial front-end protection (2003 photo by Mike Albright).
This black Military Police Cherokee was for sale in Germany in early 2007. Identified as U.S. Army surplus, it was complete with blue light bar and siren, and a warning in German that "The use of special signals on public roads requires official permission."
And last but maybe most exotic, JeepMud.com ran across a police Cherokee in China (60K JPEG.)
Thanks to Mike Albright for his help with photos and info. -- Derek Redmond
See more Police Service Jeeps.
Also on The CJ3B Page, see Police Service Toy Cherokees.
It would be nice if this page inspired Majorette to continue their Sheriff series. (But I didn't have much luck with Suggested Matchbox Cherokees for 2001.)
Return to the Toy Jeeps Pages on The CJ3B Page.
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