Letter from the Editor

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's how we roll

On a couple of occasions, I've run into the local police mobile command unit (I'm not much of a crime reporter, so it tends to be at events no more edgy than the Christmas parade or a tornado drill).

The thing is impressive, I must say, a virtual rolling police station with all the technological connections. This isn't your uncle Vinnie's RV that he uses to cruise for wealthy divorcees at those Nevada campgrounds.

I've heard people express that it seems a trifle expansive for a small city police vehicle, but then again, nobody is going to feel that way when, goodness forbid, the times come when we really have to depend on that rig. The outside funding opportunity was there, and our city was wise to take it.

I read where one state out east bought and outfitted a mobile command center based on an RV platform for $1.4 million!

It occurs to me that police vehicles are becoming somewhat less boring these days, and why not? It just isn't interesting to get pulled over by your run of the mill Crown Vic.

Years ago, a community nearby seized a Sting Ray, I believe, from some sort of bad boy, and painted it up as a cop car to take to DARE functions. Word to the wise - if you have a nice ride, you might want to steer it clear of dirty business.

The other day, I saw one of the new Dodge Hemi Charger state patrol cars in town. I know of one sheriff's captain in Kentucky who drives a custom-painted showcar convertible called the "Crimefighter Corvette." One police department apparently sports an anphibious assault vehicle. A couple have their own tanks. And I'm told that some departments around the country are pressing everthing into service from Hummers to high-performance pickups to lifted SUV off-roaders to new Beetles to electric hybrids to PT Cruisers to golf carts with police paint and cherries, as squad cars.

A bit on the Mad Max side, perhaps, but not boring.

It makes me sad at the state of things at our place. A plain old white van to haul newspapers? For shame.

Imagination has always been a bit of the crimefighter mystique. Remember James Bond's tricked-out Aston Martins? If not for a annoying babbling Firebird, David Hasselhoff would be serving up french fries today instead of autographs.

So let's get creative. I've taken the liberty to persue the catalogs of available law enforcement vehicles. Here are my suggestions for the next fleet of police cars. Not only am I willing to be pulled over, but I'd like to borrow the keys.

How to afford the gas? Look, spanky, must I think of everything...?