It’s getting harder and harder to recognize cop cars in your rearview mirror.
First, Ford dropped the long-serving Crown Victoria police cruiser, whose telltale headlights could be spotted from the moon, and now the rooftop light bar is fading into history.
Sure, most (if not all) cop cars offer protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you’re looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.
The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor vehicles will now offer the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.
Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, given that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs. (Read More…)
Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? When it comes to police and their dashcams, the answer appears to be “nobody, due to suspicious technical problems.”
Last Friday, the Washington Post released a scathing indictment of the Chicago Police Department and its officers’ intentional sabotage of their dashcam equipment.
The same department is already under siege from all quarters. Homicides are soaring by 75 percent year-over-year in 2016, senior officials are leaving in droves, and a recent report has shown that a minor group of “untouchable” policemen is responsible for over $34M in settlements since 2009.
(Sarah Nader/Northwest Herald)
An Illinois sheriff knows a barn find when he sees one.
According to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stadler spotted an old parade Chevrolet Caprice with 4,000 miles gathering dust in a shed and decided to bring it back into service.
The 20-year-old, LT1-powered police cruiser — which sports none of the modern police cruiser amenities including USB ports, massive touchscreen or even traction control — was pressed into service when Stadler’s Impala was retired.
“I could see the diamond in the rough,” Stadler told the newspaper. “Your non-car person would look at this thing and think, ‘Why would I want this 20-year-old thing covered in dirt?’ Where I was, ‘I really want to clean this thing up.’”
Hell yes. (Read More…)
A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered that the city’s speed cameras have nabbed school bus drivers, police, public employees and city bus drivers more than 8,000 times over the past two years.
In most cases the tickets were passed on to the drivers, but in some cases — bus drivers and police driving unmarked cars who could justify speeding — those fines were either paid by the Chicago Transit Authority or waived altogether.
The Chicago Tribune’s fine, fine, fine reporting work uncovered 714 bus violations and more than 2,000 police tickets in two years. (Read More…)
The joke that spotting a high driver is as easy as looking for the car safely going 7 mph on the interstate isn’t entirely accurate, according to Denver police.
“You’d be wrong. We’ll see the same levels of intoxication between someone who’s been using alcohol and someone who is on drugs,” Denver police Captain Mark Chuck said Wednesday. “There’s virtually no difference.”
Spotting those signs of impairment could become very important as federal regulators devote resources to developing nationwide standards and training tools for law enforcement. The recently signed federal highway funding bill, dubbed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, directs the Transportation Department to study how to spot marijuana-impaired drivers as more states legalize the drug.
On Thursday, Google’s autonomous car development team reported that Mountain View, California police pulled over the robot car for traveling too slowly. No ticket was issued.
According to the team’s Google Plus page, officers pulled over the car because they “want to know more about the project.” According to Mountain View police, the officer wanted reminded the car’s human passengers that impeding traffic is against the law. Tomato, potato.
Dodge announced for its Charger Pursuit cars Friday an available 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which is five times larger than its 5-inch model available in some of its cars.
The 12.1-inch screen — which is only available on Charger cars for police for now — is meant to eliminate mounted laptops in the front seats of many police vehicles. The screen can be connected to a laptop in the trunk via ethernet cord, and can display functions such as lights, sirens, forward-mounted cameras and radio information.
An alert from one of the local news stations popped up on my screen last week asking readers to be on the lookout for a stolen unmarked police cruiser. My first instinct was to warn family and friends that an impersonator was out on the loose. Once I got the word out, I started analyzing the situation and thinking about vehicle tracking. I wondered why the local police department did not equip their cruisers with some sort of GPS tracking device which could have allowed them to locate the vehicle quickly without putting the public at risk. I have some experience with GPS tracking in a couple of different fields and decided to do some research on patrol car GPS devices.
Police in Helsinki are asking residents to skip the fare and call the cops if they spot an Uber driver within city limits.
Cops sent out a tweet Friday asking people to call emergency services (112 if you live in Finland, apparently) so authorities could have a chat with the enterprising driver. It’s illegal to operate a cab without a license, according to the Helsinki Sanomat (via Slashdot via Jack Baruth), and police are using citizen reports and even sting operations to crack down on the drivers.
It’s unclear if police are arresting or fining the Uber drivers.