Last fall, the first tests of the new Chevy Caprice PPV, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Ford Taurus Interceptor generated quite a bit of interest here at TTAC and beyond, as three all-new contestants battled to replace the outgoing Crown Victoria as America’s cop car. At the time, the Caprice seemed like the clear performance favorite, but as Sajeev Mehta has pointed out, there’s more to the cop-car equation than pure speed. Although good luck trying to tell the Detroit Three that, as all three are cherry-picking performance stats in the wake of the latest round of Michigan State Police testing.
In Albuquerque, a police officer is caught with his pants not quite down, but nonetheless having sex on the hood of a car. From the pictures released, it looked consensual. This is not what can be said of the conduct of a Philadelphia police officer. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Keith Corley II, a 4 year member of the Philadelphia police department, was charged with raping a woman in the back of his squad car while on duty in the 18th District in West Philadelphia. (Read More…)
A federal appellate court ruled Friday that the pepper spraying and beating of a black motorist who did not wear his seat belt constituted excessive force. Mark Anthony Young, 46, was driving to the gym in February 2007 when Los Angeles County, California Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Wells stopped him so he could issue a ticket for failing to buckle up. Wells’ problems began when he was unable to produce his vehicle registration.
While Wells was writing up the ticket, Young got out of his truck and walked over to hand the deputy the vehicle’s paperwork. Wells ordered Young back into his truck, but Young did not feel like doing so. He sat on the curb, eating broccoli. In his legal filing, Wells claimed the broccoli was dangerous and that he “believed that [Young] was about to throw the broccoli at [him] in order to cause a distraction before assaulting him.”
In 1998, South Carolina lawmakers mandated that police use dashboard mounted cameras to document the arrest of anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The state supreme court on Monday ruled that the town of Mount Pleasant was not in compliance with this statute, which states a suspect “must have his conduct at the incident site and the breath test site video recorded.”
There is a Police Equipment Show in Beijing, and it’s a meeting of the minds: Chinese cops want to get out of their Santana wagons (read gen 2 Passat Variant), and Chinese carmakers want a slice of the lucrative government pie. Our friend Tycho of ChinaCarNews (formerly known as TheTycho.com) went to the show and took his camera along. Above a uniformed Shanghai-Volkswagen Passat Lingyu, the logical successor of the ubiquitous Shanghai-Volkswagen Santana. More Chinese police after the jump … (Read More…)
Every few years, Beijing’s government lashes out against billboards that advertise an ostentatious lifestyle. These exhortations are largely ignored, which preserves an endless source of involuntary humor. (Read More…)
It’s not out yet, and it won’t be before the end of the year, but Opel is already flogging the Euro-version of the Volt, the Ampera, as the perfect cop car. Main selling point: It’s a veritable multi mission vehicle. “Whether emission free on patrol, or silent during undercover surveillance, or fast and persistent when in hot pursuit – the Opel Ampera is the ideal police cruiser,” brags Opel, which appears to humor AutoBild. (Read More…)
You’re driving down the road at a spirited tempo when you see a big, black, tuned Taurus. No biggie, right?
Ever since the China Automotive Technology & Research Center, a government agency that “assists the government in such activities as auto standard and technical regulation formulating, product certification testing, quality system certification, industry planning and policy research, information service and common technology research” started issuing monthly car sales numbers, we had our issues with them.
Month after month, they came out with data early, received headlines all over the world, and when the official CAAM numbers came out, they were totally different. There were attempts to explain that CATRC reports registrations, whereas CAAM reports deliveries to dealers. But the numbers were too far apart. In August, we yelped “Come on, guys. China is the world’s largest auto market. Why do we have to endure this rigmarole every month?” When we reported the September numbers, the CATRC was conspicuously absent. Now, we know why. (Read More…)
I may have mentioned before (or you may have read about it) that the UK is undergoing a huge austerity program. In order to balance the UK’s books, massive spending cuts are being implemented. But in order to secure votes, the Conservative government (along with the Liberal Democrats) pledged that the NHS would not suffer these cuts in budgets. Wow! A right wing government actually PROTECTING nationalized healthcare? Those crazy Europeans! So this means that other facets of government spending are going to be hit hard. Very hard. In particular, the police. Greater Manchester Police won’t be hiring any new recruits for 2 years in order to save money. That’s how hard we’re talking. So any opportunity to save money will be welcome. Enter a bunch of South Koreans… (Read More…)
A crop of new police cars drew more than 400 law enforcement officials to Chrysler’s proving grounds in Chelsea today to see the Michigan State Police put the cars through acceleration, braking, high-speed handling and other tests.
This article isn’t gonna end well for Ford, and not just because it’s Panther Appreciation Week here at TTAC.
First of all, start burning that front fascia into your memory. Chevy’s new Caprice PPV is somehow even less distinctive than a Crown Vic, giving cops something of an edge until speed demons start recognizing it as an unmarked police cruiser rather than a strangely-modded G8. Speaking of which, GM still refuses to build a civilian Caprice, despite previewing what it might look like with this “Detective Duty” version of the new police whip. Because the only thing worse than getting a speeding ticket is getting a speeding ticket from an officer driving an inexpensive, V8-powered, RWD car that you can’t even purchase.
[UPDATE: carenvy.ca cites a "very, very reliable source" as confirming that the Caprice will in fact be sold to civilians in North America. We remain highly skeptical of this claim, and we will follow up on it].
It has been almost three years since a young Saint Louis, Missouri motorist drew national attention by videotaping an out-of-control police officer’s profanity-laced tirade during a traffic stop (view video). St. George Police Sergeant James Kuehnlein was fired because of the bad publicity generated by the incident captured by the taping system that Brett Darrow, 23, installed in his 1997 Nissan Maxima. On Saturday, St. Louis County Police stopped Darrow once again.
There’s lots of places to find old cop car photos, but I was perusing a 1953 Popular Science at bed time the other night, and remembered a story about the just-opened NJ turnpike and its new fleet of cop cars. Here are one of each of the fleet of 23 Fords and stealthy Chryslers. The Fords came with Mercury engines installed; their 255 cubic inch flathead V8s had a whopping 125 hp instead of the stock Ford 110 hp. The also had dual exhausts, “souped up rear ends”, and heavy duty cooling systems. The ten unmarked Chryslers “are capable of 120 mph”, which I wouldn’t question given their 180 hp hemi engines. Three “portable” radar timers (roadside, not hand-held) were also in the arsenal. And every trooper was trained in auto mechanics as part of the training; they would have known how to stop their runaway car.
Old Popular Sciences are a treasure trove of the bizarre and curious, reflecting American’s folksy inventiveness. I couldn’t resist scanning just two of these and sharing: (Read More…)
Ford’s new Taurus-based Interceptor will be available with the 3.5 liter Duratec, or the twin-turbo Ecoboost engine. Front wheel drive is standard, and AWD will be an option. But then, if you got to use other people’s tax money to buy your work ride, would you really save the few bucks by not buying the 365 hp, AWD version? Of course not. You are the law! Libraries can always have bake sales. [via Jalopnik]