When you're a police officer out on patrol, you have no idea what's headed your way. It could be a nice, quiet day full of misdemeanor arrests and speeding tickets, or some nutcase could pull out a gun and shoot you during a routine traffic stop. It's a scary business.

The folks at Ford have come up with a clever way to boost officer safety in their new Taurus and Explorer-based Police Interceptor vehicles, and it uses existing technology. Called "Surveillance Mode" (which, I would argue, is probably not the best name in light of recent revelations), it uses the Ford's backup camera, cross-traffic alert and reverse park assist to keep officers aware of what's going on when they're parked.

When an officer parks and activates the system, the backup camera and sensors that detect blind spots and parking obstacles engage and monitor the area. It sounds an alarm if someone approaches the car, and then automatically rolls up the windows and locks the doors.

Surveillance mode will be available on the 2014 Ford police car and SUV models. So if you want to sneak up on a cop to try and steal their cruiser and go joyriding, make sure it's a Crown Vic or something.