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Very cool! They will no doubt have their place in the fleet.
I am thinking that there must be a specific role for them.
 

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Despite the almost-total domination of the police vehicle market by Ford (at one point in the past, I believe over 90% of police vehicles were Ford Crown Victorias, and the Ford Explorer Interceptor is well on its way to that mark today), this sort of oddball police vehicle isn't a new thing. In almost all cases, they're used for public events and/or outreach efforts and not any sort of regular patrol or enforcement efforts. The article above alludes to this; the theory is that standard police vehicles make people in some areas nervous, so show up in something that's wild/wacky/interesting and the officer is more approachable. For some crazy examples of this, do Google image search for 'DARE cars'. DARE was a program that was most popular in the 80s/90s that had officers doing community outreach activities to keep kids off of drugs. Its effectiveness is still debated, but it resulted in some wild cars and bikes.
 

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Mostly

Mostly it is a cool toy for some lucky cops to run around in. Clearly useless in a pursuit, more dangerous for cops in a hazardous environment than bikes, can't haul suspects in, etc. See them in parades, school appearances, etc.

Our local precinct spends a great deal of time and effort in 'community outreach' events, trying to reverse community perception that the cops are the enemy (large minority population). This would be an ideal vehicle for that. Interesting, non-threatening.
 

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I think the main purpose of these is cop morale. You can cruise down the Miami strip and girls in bikinis will flock over to see the nice policeman in his cool vehicle.
@bajakirch: I read that the Ford Explorer Interceptor is the top selling police vehicle in the US today, by a pretty good margin. I also remember the DARE program. The cars had bumper stickers that said, "DARE to keep kids off drugs." It got to be such a joke people were getting bumper stickers that said, "DARE to keep cops off donuts."
 

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When I see the cops with stuff like that, my first thought is that this police department is clearly over-funded.
Except that if you read the story you'll see it was donated by Polaris.
 

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According to the article, it wasn't taxpayer funded; it was donated to the police department by Polaris for use as a CSO vehicle. A local shop did the custom paint job; I imagine that was donated as well.

*Sorry, Strominateacup, I was typing and you beat me to the punch.
 

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I can't slam them too hard, i forget which police force here, but they patrol in smart cars.


Still, would love to see one of those follow me in twisties :)
 

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When I see the cops with stuff like that, my first thought is that this police department is clearly over-funded.
As was previously mentioned, this is a donated vehicle. A similar situation happened in the mid-2000s, when Mercedes essentially donated a bunch of M-Class SUVs (made at their factory in Vance, AL) to the Tuscaloosa, AL, PD as part of their research into developing their police fleet market.

I've heard of a few other deals like this which, AFAIK, have all been one-off arrangements. Here's another:

As for the DARE vehicles I mentioned previously, the vast majority of them were vehicles seized as the result of investigations. That program came along right around the time the federal government changed the property seizure laws in criminal cases, which made it much easier to seize vehicles from convicted baddies.

I knew some folks on our county's narcotics task force and all those guys drove REALLY nice cars as their plainclothes duty vehicles: Cadillacs, BMWs, Range Rovers, etc. -- all seized. It's one of the reasons slots on that team were highly desired. When a new drug dealer moved into the area, the first things the TF wanted to find out about him/her:
1. What do they drive?
2. Are they the registered owner?
3. Is it paid for?
2 & 3 were important because, if the dealer's name wasn't on a clean title, it was much harder to confiscate.

For this same reason, I've seen several stories over the years of county sheriff's (it always seems to be sheriffs) that end up with a seized vehicle for their use. Which is why you may see the sheriff of Podunk County, USA, rolling in a Lambo, Porsche, or Ferrari. Like this: Weber County Sheriff
 

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What they don't tell you (and I know this from experience) is that all those upscale seized vehicles that are "free" to the department that seized them still end up being maintained at taxpayer expense. My old department would often reject the conversion of seized vehicles to on-duty use for just that reason. The department did maintain a few high end vehicles for special investigations, but most were sold off at auction. If you see a Sheriff cruising around town in a Testarossa, rest assured that you're paying for it. Anyone want to hazard a guess at what it costs to service a Ferrari?

Bajakirch, your friends on the drug task force were being truthful....and it's one of the reasons that the Civil Asset Forfeiture laws introduced a whole new avenue of corruption into police departments, especially smaller underfunded ones.
 

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LOL, I thought you were being serious...the winky face should have been a dead giveaway, but it's been a long day and my eight cylinder brain is only firing on four.
 
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