View Full Version : OT: K61's Police Car thread

09-06-2007, 02:13 AM
Here you go K61, all yours, have at it!

Okay, I'll start off. I've always prefered the four door sedan to the sports car or truck for police work. Always the classic Chevrolet Caprice or Ford Crown Victoria. I'd have to say I prefer Caprices, mostly due to Ford's knowing unwillingness to do anything about the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor's nasty fuel tank problems.

These problems have caused numerous instances of these cars' fuel tanks rupturing in rear aspect collisions (as often seen when these cars are stopped on the side of the road), causing fires, and sometimes explosions. Physical handicaps, deformities, and sometimes death of officers result from these fires. (Autosafety.org 2002 example .pdf (http://www.autosafety.org/CVPI2002.pdf)) As a footnote, last I checked, Ford has fixed these problems in it's civil Lincoln series, but refuses to remedy the problem in the Police Interceptors. The problem is so bad that some departments refused to buy Crown Victorias, even if it meant staying with long outdated vehicles until something else came along. (Many, many departments were sad to see Chevrolet discontinue the Caprice.)

As far as lights are concerned, I've always liked the full length eliptical bar with rotating becons inside. Strobes are nice, though, since they are lower maintenance. Still, the beacons look better! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Oh, that and of course "wig-wags" in the headlights, tail lights. (Wig-wags are interupter switches that flash the headlights and tail lights alternately, left, right, left, right.) Sooooo cool!

Ah and, of course, a dash mounted light of some sort, strobe or becon. Gotta have that. Grille lights too!

And, too, the yellow bar on the rear dash for signaling others.

Did I mention Ghosting? This is a reflective paint that is difficult to detect under normal vision, but has reflective properties under headlights. Looks like an unmarked car, until you hit it with headlights, when the symbols painted on reflect back. Cool, but I sort of prefer a fully marked car. (Kinda hard to hide a full light bar on the roof of an unmarked car.)

For those who are wondering, I've always had a "thing" for emergency vehicles of any sort (since I was a little, little kid). If the above sounds suspicously like a wish list for my own car some day, your right! It is!

09-06-2007, 06:14 AM
I prefer black and whites with unmarked car light packages (most cars around here have a deep blue LED package). No light bar on the roof. Black steel wheels with center caps. Heavy duty push bars that are bolted to the frame. The Dodge Chargers are very intimidating. Around here in, SE Tennessee, local departments vary from Crown Vics, Impalas, Chargers, and various unmarked cars and trucks (saw an unmarked Taurus with lights the other day, and an unmarked Silverado in a town called Soddy-Daisy). The county Sherriff's offices seem to prefer the Impala and one county uses Dakotas for their K9 units. Tennesse Highway Patrol has Crown Vics and Explorers.

09-06-2007, 10:51 AM
Good idea, a separate thread for this discussion, after my blatant thread hijacking.

I had heard rumblings about some police discontent with Crown Vics and fuel tanks. I really feel for officers, who have to pull over a vehicle and then walk alongside the traffic side of the car they have pulled over. A number of cops each year are killed this way, all over the world I would suppose. Recently, Ontario passed a law which requires drivers to move over one full lane when approaching stopped emergency vehicles, if the road is multi-laned. This is a nice safety measure, but I suspect cops don't rely on it too much. The general public are abysmally ignorant about many laws and safety rules and incredibly short of common sense. In my town, Milton, Ontario, we have a hybrid of full time and volunteer firefighters. When part time firefighters respond to calls in their personal vehicles, they mount a flashing green light on the dashboard of their vehicles as they drive to the station. In spite of much publicity, including newspaper ads, firefighter displays at the mall, etc. way too many people still don't get out of the way when they see them coming. They just don't know. Of course, we are well aware, as my son is a firefighter and we live literally across the street and down a few yards from our local station. Sometimes as I am on my way about town, I see a pickup truck coming down the road with the green light flashing. And when I see one, I suspect there will be one or more others. The green light is a great idea, it's just a shame that too many people are still unaware of what it means. Our town is the fastest growing municipality in Canada, so our council goes to great lengths to publicize the green light, since most of our new townsfolk are from the city, where the green light is unheard of. In another great idea, the green light is also displayed on all fire vehicles, in the hope that the public will see them, then associate the flashing green light on a firetruck with a flashing green light on a private vehicle. The message is getting through, albeit rather slowly, it seems.

Our local police also use stealth markings on some of their cruisers. I almost had a heart attack the first time I saw it, as I was whipping along a country road at night and only too late realized what it was. Either he was asleep, busy or didn't think I was going all that fast, as he didn't bother coming after me. Too bad the other officer last year didn't feel the same. He was driving an unmarked cruiser northbound on a country road and nailed me coming southbound in my Charger, 102 kph in a 70 kph zone. I saw those grille mounted reds and crapped my pants! And he wrote the ticket for the full amount; no interrogation, warning or consideration of my until then perfect driving record, just wrote the full ticket and slapped it in my hand. I did hire Pointts and they were able to plea it down to a 15 kph over, which meant a fine of $52.80 and the part I like best, no demerit points. The oddball amount of $52.80 is due to an Ontario "victim surcharge" that applies to all fines and tickets. It is a percentage charge, which is intended to fund victims of crime, though I suspect, cynically, that the government just throws the money into the general funds kitty and funds welfare projects with it.

Our local force uses mainly Crown Vics; I have heard a rumour that they have a few Chargers, but I haven't seen any. Peel Region, next county over from Halton, use Malibus. They are mainly an urban force now, so the front wheel drive is either inconsequential, or they simply prefer the Malibu as it is cheaper to buy. Although I wouldn't own one, they do look rather cool in police markings. I tried Google to find a pic of our Halton cruisers in stealth paint, but failed. Here's a shot of a Halton cruiser in all white with stripes, same scheme as on their marine units. I suppose fellow forum member Foehammer has seen these too, since he also lives in Halton county:



If you boys don't mind, I'd like to see some pics of your local police vehicles, and even their boat units, if they have them. Halton Region fronts onto Lake Ontario. Two of our municipalities, Oakville and Burlington, front Lake Ontario, thus the requirement for a marine unit, for search and rescue and on-water law enforcement. It's not just car drivers who like to drink and drive.

09-06-2007, 12:24 PM
I'll see if I can't dig some pics up....or even snap some shots. We too have boat units here in Chattanooga, considering the Tennessee River runs through the middle of it, plus TVA has units that patrol the lake and around the dam.

Units I see on a regular basis:

Chattanooga PD (Crown Vic)
University of TN, Chattanooga PD (Impala)
Erlanger Hospital PD (Impala)
Red Bank PD (Crown Vic/Charger)
Hamilton County SD (Impala/Dakota)
Soddy-Daisy PD (Impala/Crown Vic)
Graysville PD (Impala/Crown Vic)
Dayton PD (Impala/Crown Vic)
Rhea County SD (Impala/Crown Vic)
Tennessee HP (Crown Vic/Explorer/F-250)
TVA (Federal) Police (Impala/Explorer)

09-06-2007, 02:44 PM
The Crown Vic has been suffering from neglect by Ford. It seems for so long they have been wanting to axe this platform form their lineup, which would be a bad mistake. They should, instead, be investing in a real overhaul of the whole platform: making it a unibody, updating the electronics, seating, etc. and making this thing a real contender against the Charger and 300 series.

09-11-2007, 06:10 AM
I'd like to see what some of the local police cars of the other members of both SH forums look like. So, c'mon guys, take some pics of your city/county/state's finest's rides and post them. I'll try to have some up by early next week.

09-27-2007, 01:18 PM
Just an update, I have some pics of local law enforcement now, just need to pull them from my camera. Will post ASAP.

09-27-2007, 08:51 PM
Looking forward to them. The other day I met one of the new scheme OPP cruisers as I was driving to work. That's one sharp looking Crown Vic. I stared at it so long I was afraid I was going to drive into the ditch.

09-28-2007, 05:05 AM
The newest cars in Waterloo Region, ON are painted a more classic black/white scheme. They use primarily Crown Victoria's but you'll see the odd full size van now and then.

I actually just moved away from (near) Waterloo a few weeks ago and am now in Edmonton, AB.

I am surprised to hear about the fire hazard of the Crown Vic. Asides from that, my dad used to own one. It was a great car, and was more capable of towing the family travel trailer than the GMC Safari he later bought. However due to the much greater interior space of the van it became the primary towing/vacation vehicle.

09-28-2007, 12:25 PM
I was reading a very interesting article in an Emergency magazine yesterday having to do with colour schemes on emergency vehicles. The basics of it were that more and more these days emergency vehicles, especially the independant ambulance services here in the US, tend to end up more as advertizing billboards, with very little commonality among them. Translation: all these different colour combinations, meaning that when you see an ambulance, or a fire truck, you can't immediately identify it as such. Many look like standard commercial vehicles, especially due to the continued use of the "down the center" stripe on emergency vehicles that is so previlant on commercial vehicles. There was one example of an ambulance service from the article, that I specifically remember. The old scheme being Teal above Grey. It looked, for all the world, like a moving van. Fortunately, the company has since gone with a more traditional overall white scheme that one would expect on an ambulance.

Two additional factors play a large role.

1. The vast improvement in soundproofing technology means that people are less likely to hear sirens.

2. The proliferation of flashing lights of all colours meaning that those on an emergency vehicle are less likely to attract immediate attention. Along these lines should be included the vast increase in "other than roadway" visual stimuli around a roadway environment that are drawing drivers' attention everywhere but where it needs to be, on the road and those the road is being shared with.

The main thing the article seemed to be pointing to was the need for chevrons and other "stand out" schemes on emergency vehicles, specifically, like those on the London Ambulance Service, which was specifially mentioned (in addition to pictures of thier "multi-block" schemes). This was to be in an effort to make emergency vehicles both as visible as possible (capturing drivers' attention when the driver wasn't looking for it, and to make them as uniform as possible among themselves (like the London Ambulance Service), so that when an emergency vehicle is seen it is immediately recognized as an emergency vehicle. Unfortunately, such complete uniformity as the London Ambulance Service has is all but impossible in the US due to the large number of different and independant agencies.

There was a uniformity requirement for federal vehicles, an overall orange scheme (Omaha Orange, if I recall correctly) in the 1970s. This scheme has since been found to be less than ideal (solid colours don't stand out as much as alternating ones), but most federal agencies have maintained the Omaha Orange scheme.

09-28-2007, 09:45 PM
alot of police forces here in kentucky have gottin dodge charger police cars. there really bad *** looking

09-28-2007, 10:14 PM
I agree, they are pretty sweet looking. Here is one from South Carolina.

09-29-2007, 09:41 AM
That thing looks fast just sitting there.

09-30-2007, 02:09 AM
Here in Los Angeles, all of the local city units are Crown Vics, including the K9 units. The CHP uses a mix of Crown Vics and Chargers, though I still even see some of the old Mustang 5.0 Interceptors around.

There's a great secondary market for the Crown Vic interceptors here - you'll see vast car lots with them for sale. A coworker of mine bought one a couple years back.

09-30-2007, 08:54 PM
I'm surprised there aren't more police Chargers in service. I suspect the reason for that is the conservative nature of policing. They have been using Crown Vics for so many years that they know them inside and out. The Charger is a fairly new make; it's only in its second model year of production, so it seems reasonable to think that it will take a few more years for them to become more widely used. Police departments can only buy so many cars a year, so they have to space out their vehicle acquisitions over time. I also think they are seeing how good the Chargers are before making a more considerable investment in them. I think, based on my own experience, that they will be well pleased with them. Not that I've handled a police car, but the Charger seems a natural for police work: big enough, rear wheel drive, punchy performance and sticks to the road like dog**** on the bottom of your shoe!

09-30-2007, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by Hiriyu:
Here in Los Angeles, all of the local city units are Crown Vics, including the K9 units. The CHP uses a mix of Crown Vics and Chargers, though I still even see some of the old Mustang 5.0 Interceptors around.

There's a great secondary market for the Crown Vic interceptors here - you'll see vast car lots with them for sale. A coworker of mine bought one a couple years back.

I have also seen a few years ago on the Grapevine near Magic Mountain, Chevy Camero Z28's.

10-01-2007, 05:37 AM
My stepdad knew a CHP officer that had a 5.0 and wrecked it really bad when she topped a hill during a high speed chase. As for the Chargers, they are pretty sweet in black and white. We have one just outside Chattanooga, but I cant ever seem to spot it when I have my camera with me. My dad is gonna send me some pics of Washington State Patrol's Dodge Magnums. And, as I promised some pics of local cars....

Chattanooga Police Department
Chattanooga, TN (Hamilton County)

Chattanooga Airport Police
Chattanooga, TN

Hamilton County Sherriff Department
Hamilton County, TN

Graysville Police Department
Graysville, TN (Rhea County)

Rhea County Sherriff Department
Rhea County, TN

Catoosa County Sherriff Department
Catoosa County, GA

Cobb County Sherriff Department
Cobb County, GA (outside Atlanta, GA)

10-01-2007, 08:14 AM
The UK's Police use a variety of cars for Police use which all depends on the task at hand. Since I live in Swindon where Honda have their main production plant for the Civic the majority of cars used by the Police in Swindon seem to be Honda vehicles, but there are many others such as an unmarked BMW 3 series. Here are two very nice motors being converted into Police use - mainly for high speed pursuit. The Police in the UK have used the Sierra and Escort Cosworth too.