While many people assume that police vehicles have enhancements over other vehicles, few people know exactly how these additions provide officers with an increased ability to take down criminals on the road. Although different departments in different jurisdictions use various types of patrol cars, police vehicles are all equipped with advantages over standard vehicles that go well beyond their black and white decor.
- Just Because a Car Is Running Doesn’t Mean You Could Steal It
Sometimes, cops seem to tempt fate by leaving their cars running for extended periods unoccupied. This is not an indication of carelessness, however, as their vehicles are equipped with a system that keeps the engine running without the keys in the ignition. If an occupant attempts to shift into drive without the keys, the engine simply shuts off, effectively preventing the theft of expensive government property.
- Bulletproofing Is Improving All the Time
Standard vehicles are very poor bullet sponges. Soldiers and police are often taught, in fact, that the only place near a vehicle that is truly safe from a gunman is directly behind an engine block. While police have been using limited, handgun-rated bulletproofing for years, advancements in technology prompted by military testing have enabled some departments to start integrating bulletproofing rated for rifle calibers into their inventories.
- The Colors Used in Police Lights Have A Specific Purpose
It’s easy to take police lights for granted, since they have been around, in some form, for almost a century. The idea behind using red and blue colors, however, is grounded in sound reasoning. Because motorists associate red with stopping, red lights subconsciously prompt caution. People who are colorblind to red light are likely to see blue light as a distinct color, so using blue light as a secondary color minimizes a viewer’s likelihood of missing something. Recently, the use of highly visible led police lights has improved the functionality of emergency lights significantly.
- Police Vehicles Have Upgraded Engines
While there are many variations on the engines that police use in their vehicles, upgraded engines ensure that outrunning police on the highway is no simple matter. Although the turbocharged Ford Taurus is the fastest patrol vehicle in common use, the Ford Explorer is the most popular. Patrol vehicles see plenty of abuse in their lifetimes, so durability and versatility are key considerations for departments looking to choose which models to invest in.
Police have a lot to contend with every day. Patrol vehicles that are equipped with the latest technology make officers’ jobs easier, which, in turn, keeps everyone safer.